Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday repeated provocations that he will send a strong message worldwide on July 20 during his scheduled visit to the divided island’s breakaway north.
Erdogan plans to use the visit as a platform to promote his government’s nationalist and religious agenda by announcing the opening of the Turkish-held ghost town of Varosha.
“On July 20, we will be in the ‘trnc’ to attend the ‘peace and freedom’ celebrations, we will go with a large AK Party delegation. We will join our brothers the Turkish Cypriots in the festivities marking July 20,” he said in a speech.
“We will also send a strong message to the whole world that we support their efforts for their rights to be respected,” he added.
Coinciding with the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, he is expected to make announcements concerning Ankara’s plans for Varosha.
This is the fenced-off southern quarter of the city of Famagusta in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Minister for the European Neighbourhood Wendy Morton has stated that “the UK strongly supports the numerous Security Council Resolutions covering the issue of Varosha, notably 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), and the 9 October UN Security Council Presidential Statement calling for Turkish actions to cease and be reversed.”
She was responding to a parliamentary question tabled by the pro-Cypriot north London Conservative MP Theresa Villiers.
She had urged Foreign Secretary Raab to have discussions with his Turkish counterpart on the importance of respecting the provisions in UN Security Council resolution 550 on Famagusta.
The Foreign Minister added that the UK government is monitoring the situation closely and is urging the sides to refrain from actions which could undermine the chances of a settlement.