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Turkey Prepares to Open Up Occupied Cyprus’ Varosha

Varosha Cyprus
The no-man’s land of Varosha. Credit: YolandaDemetriou, CC BY-SA 1.0/Wikipedia

Turkey — through its puppet regime in occupied Cyprus — is seemingly preparing to open up parts of Varosha in Famagusta, in yet another gesture of complete disregard for international law.

The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reports that Turkish Cypriots are continuing infrastructure work to open up part of the fenced-off abandoned ghost town of Varosha.

Photographic and video evidence shows that work on the new part of Chrysi Akti beach (Golden Coast) that extends to the Venus Hotel and will be accessible to the public is almost complete.

That part of the beach is where Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visited on November 15,2020 and had lunch with the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

Palm trees have been planted along the path that has been built leading to the beach as well as an enclosed canteen. Beach umbrellas and sunbeds have been set up on the beach, although it has not yet been opened to the public, the report says.

Work is being carried out in the once strictly inaccessible military area, and a large piece of land has been leveled, but there is no indication what this is for.

Cyclists and several police officers are on the roads that are open and accessible. Surveillance cameras are everywhere.

Plants, grass, and trees have been removed from several houses’ front gardens. Access to buildings is no longer allowed, and wooden stakes with ropes have been placed everywhere, CNA reports.

Biden calls on Turkey to avoid unilateral actions

Last week, Cyprus authorities announced that US President Joe Biden expressed concerns over the unilateral decision last October by the Turkish side to open part of the fenced area of Famagusta.

According to government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos, Biden, in a letter to President Nicos Anastasiades, gave reassurances that the US would continue to consider the Republic of Cyprus an important partner for regional stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and of his commitment to work with a view to further deepen the strong ties between US and Cyprus.

The US president, Koushos said, has also made “a very important reference” to the issue of Famagusta, noting that the US is concerned over the unilateral decision of the Turkish Cypriots, with the support of Turkey, to open part of Varosha last October.

Biden said that the US has called and will continue to call for the decision of the Turkish side to be reversed and will discourage further provocative actions.

Erdogan has picnic in Varosha, Cyprus

In November 2020, Erdogan kept his promise to go and have a ‘picnic’ in Varosha.

The Republic of Cyprus issued a damning statement then, calling Erdogan’s visit an ”unprecedented provocation.”

The Cypriot press release noted that Erdogan’s visit constitutes ”an unprecedented provocation in full violation of the UN Security Council’s resolution 550 and 789.”

These actions, the Presidency added, ”undermine the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to convene an informal five-party conference and are not conducive to creating a favorable, positive climate for the resumption of talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.”

The Presidency also noted that these actions provoke the feelings of the Cypriot people as a whole and those of Famagusta in particular.

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