Policies aimed at the reopening of the abandoned town of Varosha (Maraş) in Turkish Cyprus are on the right track, Kudret Özersay, the country’s foreign minister, has said in a written statement.
Given recent developments and with Turkey’s support, Varosha could be opened to its former residents under Turkish Cypriot administration following the presidential elections scheduled for Oct. 11, Özersay said.
“Both the Greek Cypriot side and other international players understand that as long as we proceed carefully, our policy on Varosha will come alive and cannot be prevented,” Özersay said, adding that property rights will be respected.
“When I put forward my vision of opening the fenced-off town of Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration six years ago, there were people who laughed at it. Many actors and the Turkish Cypriot public now have started to support this policy,” he said.
Noting that he will pursue a proactive diplomacy in the international arena to realize this memorizing vision, Özersay said that he will always come up with an approach that generates new ideas on this issue and on other foreign policy issues.
Varosha was a famous resort region in Cyprus which boasted a capacity of 10,000 beds across more than 100 hotels; however, it has been closed since 1974.
The city is protected by a 1984 U.N. Security Council resolution, stating that the empty town can only be resettled by its original inhabitants.