President calls for calm after Varosha protest

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President Nicos Anastasiades urged people to show self-restraint after nationalists broke through the Dherynia crossing into no man’s land to protest against the opening of Varosha.

Anastasiades condemned Sunday’s incident invo9lving around 200 people as unacceptable.

In a written statement, the President said he understands the feelings of “indignation and bitterness” as a result of Turkey’s actions.

He said incidents like the one that took place in Dherynia, do not contribute to ending the occupation pr preventing Ankara’s plans.

At a time, the UN Secretary-General intends to take a new initiative on Cyprus, and the European Council and European Parliament condemn Turkey’s actions “no one, regardless of motive, is allowed to give Turkey and the occupation regime an alibi”.

Anastasiades called on Cypriots to remain calm and show self-restraint during these “critical hours, so as to address challenges and prevent Ankara’s plans in a spirit of unity”.

On Sunday evening around 150 – 200 people, protesting the opening of fenced-off Varosha, lit flares and caused damage to nearby properties.

They breached the automatic barriers of a police checkpoint in Dherynia and crossed into the buffer zone but did not step foot in the Turkish occupied areas.

The protest was unannounced and caught police off guard. There have been no arrests reported so far.

Last week, the UN Security Council expressed its deep concern regarding the announcement in Ankara on 6 October to open the coastline of Varosha and called for the reversal of this course of action, and for the avoidance of any unilateral actions that could raise tensions on the island.