Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s two-day stay in northern Cyprus ended with a military parade, as to demonstrate Ankara’s insistence on the proposed two-state solution.
But more than the rage parade on this visit made the statement of the Turkish head of state, who announced the plans to partially open the city of Varosha, emptied by the Greeks during the occupation of northern Cyprus by the Turkish army in 1974 and known by the Turks named Marash.
“Life will resume in Marash again. “Thanks to the work done to respect labor rights, the doors of a new era will open in Marash and everyone will benefit from this,” said the Turkish President.
Erdogan said that Ankara is on the right path and being on this path will defend its right to the end, implying the use of force.
But Erdogan’s statements have not been well received in Athens and the West. The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it strongly condemned the Turkish President’s statements on the partial reopening of Varosha and described these acts as contrary to UN resolutions.
Greece says that together with the Cypriot government and international partners it remains convinced of the proposed bi-zonal federal solution, as the only way to unite the island.
Erdogan’s statements were also criticized by Washington, London and Brussels, who said they contradicted UN Security Council resolutions and deepened tensions on the island.
Following the coup in Greece, the colonel regime staged a similar coup in 1974 in Cyprus. The government fell and the new government declared union with Greece. During this period a purge of the island’s Turkish population began. This prompted Ankara to react by intervening with the army and taking control of 35 per cent of the island’s northern territory, where Turks live. Later, the Turkish Republic of Cyprus was proclaimed, which is currently recognized only by Turkey.