Erdogan closes door to Cyprus reunification

Nicosia, Jul 20 (EFE).- President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan closed the door to reunification negotiations in the island of Cyprus, as he concluded a state visit to Northern Cyprus on Tuesday.

Going against UN resolutions, Erdogan supported the Turkish Cypriot leadership’s decision to partially open the sealed off suburb of Verosha.

Turkish Cypriots will not give up their sovereignty to become a minority, claimed Erdogan during the visit marking the 47th anniversary of Turkish occupation of the northeastern strip of the island.

The president of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, announced the partial opening of Varosha alongside Erdogan, despite international actors warning that the move could inflame the Cypriot dispute.

The Turkish Cypriot leader said they will lift the area’s military status by 3.5% in the ghost town, which has been under lockdown since the Turkish occupation of the island.

Roughly 12,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to leave the neighbourhood to flee the Turkish invasion in the 1970s, described by Ankara and Turkish Cypriot government as a peace mission following a Greek coup.

Northern Cyprus authorities plan to gradually allow Greek Cypriots who lost property to return, although under Turkish Cypriot rule, or offer monetary compensation.

In 1984, the UN Security Council approved a resolution to ban any settlements in Varosha of people who did not originally live there, and asked to be given the administrative management of the town. EFE


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