Announcement by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, On the opening of the ghost town of Varusha that had been abandoned since the Turkish army took over northern Cyprus in 1974, provoked international condemnation and warnings that the move would hurt the chances of resolving the dispute over the island’s division. Yesterday, exactly 47 years after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Erdogan came to visit the Turkish part of the north of the island. He came out against the stalemate in talks to find a political solution to the Cyprus issue and declared that he supported the transformation of the Turkish part into an independent state, a move that is expected to thwart further negotiations.
Erdogan also stated that renewal work will soon begin in extensive parts of the town of Varusha to enable civic activity there. “Life will start anew in Maras,” Erdogan said, using the town’s Turkish name. “A new era is beginning and everyone will benefit from it,” he added.
Varosha, a suburb of the city of Famagusta, was one of the hottest destinations of the early 1970s for the rich and famous in Cyprus, but all Greek residents fled it with the Turkish army invasion in July 1974. It has since become a ghost town and a closed military zone.
“I want to send the strongest message to Erdogan and his local envoys that we will not accept actions and demands from Turkey,” Erdogan said in a statement condemning the status quo between the two parts of the island. President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis, And Greece also condemned the move. The two countries agreed to coordinate the response against Turkey.
EU Foreign Minister J.And Zep Burrell, Said that “the unilateral decision could raise tensions on the island and hurt back talks on a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the announcement was “provocative and unacceptable.” Britain also condemned the Turkish announcement, while China called for maintaining UN resolutions on the issue of Warsaw.
foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Scheduled today with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dandias, Discussed with him the Turkish message and expressed “deep concern”. “Israel is following with great concern the unilateral steps and declarations of Turkey regarding the status of Warsaw,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat, noting that “Israel reiterates its solidarity with Cyprus and its full support for it.”