Erdogan Presses Hard Line On Cyprus, Pushes To Reopen Ghost Town
Sumaira FH 7 days ago Wed 21st July 2021 | 10:00 AM
Nicosia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Jul, 2021 ) :Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted Tuesday on a two-state solution in Cyprus and threw his weight behind plans for a coastal resort that was emptied of its original Greek Cypriot residents to be partially reopened.
Speaking at a parade to mark the 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion that divided the island, Erdogan took aim at failed UN efforts to reunite the two sides, saying "we don't have another 50 years to waste".
"No progress can be made in negotiations without accepting that there are two peoples and two states with equal status," he said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, an Erdogan ally who supports a two-state solution rather than the federation long sought in UN-led negotiations, said an initial 3.5 percent of Varosha would "be removed from its military status".
Erdogan said this showed "how sensitively Turkish Cypriot authorities approach this issue".
The speech sparked bickering with the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell, who said any such move was "an unacceptable unilateral decision".
Turkey's foreign ministry hit back, accusing Borrell of "acting as a spokesperson or advocate for the Greek Cypriot administration".
- 'Life will restart' - To cheers from Turkish flag-waving supporters, Erdogan accused the Greek Cypriots of "blocking any route to a solution" with a "maximalist approach... that is disconnected from the reality".
Once a playground that hosted Hollywood celebrities, Varosha lay abandoned for decades.
Erdogan visited Varosha the following month in a move denounced by the Republic of Cyprus as a "provocation without precedent".
Since then a major thoroughfare has been cleared and workers raced to spruce up the street ahead of a possible second visit.
Erdogan insisted that moves to revive the town would respect property rights.
"We don't have an eye on anyone's land, rights or property, but nobody can touch the rights of Turkey or the TRNC," he said.