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Turkish Cypriot Singer Causes Stir with Video Shot in Occupied Varosha

Turkish Cypriot Varosha
The Turkish Cypriot pop star caused a stir with her music video in the occupied city of Varosha. Credit: YouTube/Nihayet

A Turkish Cypriot pop star angered Cypriots with a video filmed in the occupied town of Varosha, which has become emblematic of the island’s division.

The singer, Nihayet (also known as Nini) released “Bulaman” to her YouTube channel on Tuesday and further promoted it to her 27,000 Twitter followers, featuring prominent locations in Varosha.

According to the Cyprus Mail, users on social media criticized what they say is poor taste and a lack of respect for the sensitive nature of the town, which for half a century has remained deserted.

In the almost three and a half minute long music video, a group of young people is seen dancing and singing on the golden beaches of the town and in the streets — amongst all the abandoned buildings.

International reaction to reopening of Varosha

In late October, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said the breakaway regime in the north plans to open up fenced-off Varosha to people wanting to inhabit the ghost town.

In comments to Turkish Cypriot TV Bayrak, one year since the partial lifting of the military status in the abandoned no-mans-land, Tatar said authorities in the north are stepping up their efforts to open up the once-famous resort.

Tatar said that more than 250,000 people had visited Varosha’s sandy beaches within a year of allowing access to the area.

The Turkish Cypriot leader reaffirmed his insistence on a two-state solution for Cyprus, arguing there is room for two Cypriot states within the EU.

In response to Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot moves to partially re-open Varosha, the United Nations Security Council in July 2021 declared that settling any part of the abandoned Cypriot suburb of Varosha, “by people other than its inhabitants, is ‘inadmissible’.

The EU condemned the plan and described it as a “serious violation” of the U.N. ceasefire agreement.

In September, 19 members of the US Congress signed a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging action against Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriot attempts to reopen Varosha.

Earlier in the week, it emerged that the European Commission has prepared a detailed classified report on everything that had taken place at Varosha since July 20, 2021, in a bid to verify accusations leveled by Cyprus and to map out Turkey’s role in events in the area.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed hope on Monday that EU foreign ministers would clarify where the EU draws a red line regarding the town of Varosha in occupied northern Cyprus, as he arrived for the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

“Today, on the 38th anniversary of the proclamation of the pseudo-state in northern Cyprus, the Council will discuss the options paper, which will be presented by [EU High Representative] Joseph Borrell, in order to indicate — I hope — to Turkey the red lines on the issue of Varosha.

I hope there will be a European reply today to Turkey’s continued unlawful behavior and its attempt to disregard the decisions of the UN Security Council,” he said in a doorstep statement as he arrived at the meeting.

Related: The Second Death of Cyprus’ Ghost Town of Varosha

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