Cyprus said Turkey’s “provocative actions” to open the fenced-off town of Varosha will not be tolerated, warning that Nicosia will not remain with its “hands tied”.
Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials entered the abandoned ghost town at the weekend to discuss potentially re-opening the area after 46 years, but this would be in violation of UN resolutions.
Varosha, a southern suburb of Turkish-occupied Famagusta, has been fenced off and abandoned since Turkey invaded the island in 1974.
Ringed by a fence which extends into the sea, the former holiday resort has been off-limits since its 39,000 Greek Cypriot residents fled advancing Turkish troops.
The UN says Varosha should be returned to its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants, but Turkey is threatening to re-settle the once-proud resort to apply pressure on Nicosia.
Speaking after touring the area, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay backed the opening of Varosha as something that needed to be done.
President Nicos Anastasiades said actions by the Turks in the fenced-off area of Famagusta on Saturday “are not and will not be accepted.”
“We witnessed an unacceptable situation,”
“We will not remain with “our hands tied…the diplomatic path, international law, European principles and values set out what will happen in the immediate future.”
UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
Efforts over the years for the Greek Cypriots of Varosha to return has been blocked by the Turkey which sees it as a bargaining chip in Cyprus peace talks.
UN Security Council President Jerry Matthews Matjila said in October that no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions.
“I will not accept or put up with the political inequality Ankara wishes to impose on our country,” said Anastasiades.
“What we seek is nothing less than what all other Europeans enjoy.”