Northern Cyprus reopens abandoned beach resort, Varosha

Northern Cyprus reopens abandoned beach resort, Varosha
(CNN) – Part of the Northern Cyprus Beachfront has reopened Varosha The resort, which has been abandoned since Turkey invaded the Mediterranean island decades ago.
The Turkish Defense Ministry on Thursday declared the area open to the public. Posting Pictures of visitors to the site on Twitter.

The move has drawn international criticism.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when a coup backed by the Greek government, coupled with a Turkish military invasion, divided the country into Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south.

The resort has been closed to the public for years, with TRNC officials saying they plan to reopen the area.

Nedim Enginsoy / AP

Over the years, Varosha’s once popular resort – an abandonment of the ancient city of Famagusta – served as a man’s land between north and south. Access to the area, which once attracted tourists from around the world, is restricted to the public.

In August, officials signaled plans to open the city, which boasted more than 12,000 hotel rooms at a time, and was home to 25,000 residents.

The Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern F Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Arisin Tatar, said on Tuesday, “We are starting the process to get people to use our land, coast and public streets and beaches, which look like a haunted city. Was, is alive again now. “

Referring to the district by its Turkish name, Tatar said: “God willing, we will start using Maras Beach on Thursday morning together with our people.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday backed the Tatar plan: “It is the Cypriot authorities in Turkey who have the right to speak here. So in light of this truth, we fully support your decision to open the beautiful beach of Maras. According to your road map. “

But the move sparked outrage among international officials.

The government of the Republic of Cyprus on Tuesday said it would act in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions on “provocative and illegal actions” taken by the UN Security Council and the European Union.

The Cypriot government said in a statement: “[We] The decision is strongly condemned by one of its pundits, Ersin Tatar, from the Occupy, Turkey and the Occupied Territories, in which he extends the license for entry into the Voroshina front, during the pre-election festivities in Ankara. On the eve of the election process for the emergence of a new Turkish Cypriot leader. “

People with Turkish and Turkish Cypriot breakway flags take photos of each other on the beach with abandoned buildings after police opened the beachfront in Varosha on Thursday.

People with Turkish and Turkish Cypriot breakway flags take photos of each other on the beach with abandoned buildings after police opened the beachfront in Varosha on Thursday.

Nedim Enginsoy / AP

On Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Turkey’s decision to extend its access to Vorosa was “a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”

Mitsotakis said in his speech at an awards ceremony in Thessaloniki that Greece is going to support all relevant efforts of the Republic of Cyprus.

Meanwhile, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the EU was “deeply concerned” about the declarations.

He warned that the development would “create more tension and complicate efforts to resume Cyprus settlement negotiations.”

A spokesman for Antonio Guterres said the UN secretary general was concerned about the announcement of the reopening.

“He noted that the position of the United Nations on Varosha is as it is and is guided by the relevant Security Council resolutions,” said Stephen Dujarric, a spokesman for the secretary-general.

The Secretary-General stressed the need to avoid any unilateral actions that could create tensions on the island and return to dialogue or undermine the success of future negotiations. Does, ”Dujarric said.

CNN’s Gul Tuisuz and Martin Goilendeu contributed to the report.

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