The controversial move by the internationally recognized prime minister, who took part in an election on Sunday, has allowed people in the northern Turkish Cypriot region of Cyprus to enter Barosha beach.
On Thursday, Turkish Cypriot police filed hundreds of complaints through a gate that they were once the premier tourist resort in Famagusta, a gem that was filed through a gate operated by Turkish Cypriot police to walk on a new paved road leading to the beach. The road was flanked with police tape to keep pedestrians away from windowless homes and rusty businesses, some of which have been swallowed up by decades-old growth.
The Greek Cypriot inhabitants of Varosha fled as the Turkish army advanced on 19 Var4, when Turkey attacked after a coup by Union supporters with Greece. The region was placed under Turkish military control, it was intercepted and released from the ravages of time.
For some it was a joyous moment to witness a “historic historical” moment like a woman waving Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags. For others, however, Greek Cypriot and Borussia native Kyriakos Charalambides watching on TV from his Nicosia home was a moment of bitterness and sorrow. “Even though I expected it, I’m trembling as I observe those familiar places,” playwright Charalambides told the Associated Press. “It’s a tragedy that can’t be comforted … Barosha is lost.”
“It’s a terrible day,” said the artist’s historian and archaeologist Anna Marangau, who was forced to flee at the age of 22.
Residents of the former Borusa staged a protest late Thursday night at a crossing point next to the UN-controlled buffer zone to protest the opening of the rally. Checkpoints – one of the nine from which both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots could pass – were closed to Turkish Cypriots as part of management to prevent the spread of Kovid-19.
“How can anyone not be upset by what they see today?” Famagusta Greek Cypriot mayor, Simos Ioannou told the press. “The trust should have been handed over to its proper owners … it’s stressful.”
Cyprus’s internationally recognized president, Nikos Anastasiades, has called the move illegal. It has already condemned the move and said it would rehabilitate itself to the UN Security Council. Russia said the reopening of the beach was unacceptable. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell have both expressed concern about a move that they say could escalate tensions and lead to renewed efforts to resume talks.
Turkey and the isolated Turkish Cypriot state criticized the decision by the Greek Cypriot-led, internationally recognized government on the island to extend the mile-long stretch of beach only recognized by Ankara.
Cypriot President Anastasiades said it was a “clear violation of international law” and that UN Security Council resolutions were “unbalanced” to be disposed of by anyone other than a legitimate resident – Marasar in Turkish.
But Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials insist the move is in everyone’s interest and will not harm the rights of Greek Cypriot property owners, as it is the beach that is currently being opened. Ongoing.
On Friday, the UN Security Council held closed-door consultations on the issue.
With AFP and Reuters
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