News Local UN concerned over Varosha move by Turkey, call for no unilateral action

UN concerned over Varosha move by Turkey, call for no unilateral action

The UN Secretary General is concerned by the announcement made by Turkey on the opening on Thursday of the beach/coast line of Varosha – an abandoned resort in no-man’s land in divided Cyprus.

In a statement in New York on Wednesday, the UN chief also recalled that the position of the United Nations on Varosha remains unchanged and is guided by relevant Security Council resolutions.

The Secretary General also stressed the need to avoid any unilateral actions that could trigger tensions on the island and undermine the return to dialogue or the future success of talks.

He then called on all parties to engage in dialogue in order to resolve their differences, and reiterated his readiness to bring the parties together.

EU member Cyprus is divided since 1974 following an invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the northern third.

Ersin Tatar, self-declared premier of the breakaway ‘state’, made Tuesday’s announcement in Ankara alongside Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who said he backed the decision on Varosha, sealed off within barbed wire for decades.

The North is only recognised as a state by Turkey, and sources in Cyprus said the plan was to open up about 1.5 km (1 mile) of beachfront to the public and not the approximately 6 square km (2.3 sq miles) inland.

This includes abandoned hotels and residences which its population of 39,000 people fled in 1974 during a Turkish invasion following a Greek inspired coup.

Varosha is a suburb of the larger city of Famagusta, which, in Greek – Ammochostos – means “buried in sand”. It has a pristine coastline of thick golden sand, most of it in the now out-of-bounds Varosha quarter.

Presently, about 200 metres (660 ft) of it is accessible to the public under the towering shadow of a hotel and a three-storey resort bombed during the war and left rotting since then. The rest of it is fenced off by rusting barbed wire which extends into the sea, guarded by Turkish soldiers.

Nicosia had already been in touch with the governments of the five permanent members of the Security Council in the hours leading up to the announcement, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Tatar had signalled steps to reopen Varosha in August, saying a revival of the area, which contains derelict hotels, churches and residences, would bring trade and tourism benefits.

‘Presidential elections’ are scheduled to be held in northern Cyprus on Sunday, with Tatar a candidate.

Varosha has been off limits along ceasefire lines to all but the Turkish military since 1974 and has stood as a bargaining chip in the decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

 

 

Top Stories

Ankara provocatively announces Varosha works, as Turkish minister illegally visits

  Turkey's Environment and Urban Planning minister Murat Kurum, illegally visited the fenced off city of Famagusta, accompanied by a delegation, the latest in a...

Germany and France prepare new lockdowns as COVID sweeps Europe

  Germany and France were preparing to announce restrictions approaching the level of last spring’s blanket lockdowns, as COVID deaths across Europe rose almost 40%...

Rain arrives over the weekend. but temperatures much higher than seasonal average

  A warm air current is still affecting the area, but showers and possibly storms are expected on Saturday, with temperatures dropping slightly, but remaining...

Digital Policy ministry ready for distance learning if lockdown imposed

  The Digital Policy ministry assured it was ready on the technical side to organise distance learning, if a total lockdown was imposed over the...

French Embassy express regret over inappropriate behaviour outside its offices, thanks police

  Τhe French Embassy expressed regret over the taking down and destruction of the country's flag outside its offices in Nicosia and a series of...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...