The Mayor and the members of the Municipal Council of Turkish occupied Famagusta are set to hold a protest at the Deryneia crossing point, over a round table meeting which takes place on Saturday in the fenced-off part of Famagusta, known as Varosha.
The Municipal Council will have today an extraordinary meeting to discuss steps to be taken. The round table meeting is organized by the Turkish Bar Association with the participation of Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül.
After the meeting, the municipal council will march to the Deryneia crossing point to protest against the Turkish event.
In statements to CNA, Famagusta Mayor Simos Ioannou said that in its extraordinary meeting this afternoon, the municipal council will take “peaceful but dynamic decisions.”
He also said that the council has sent a letter of protest to the UN Secretary-General and the permanent members of the UN Security Council and that it is expecting for a meeting to be arranged with the UN SG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.
In the meantime, a protest was held this morning by Turkish Cypriots against the round table meeting. The protest was organized by the Turkish Cypriot Famagusta Initiative, the Turkish Cypriot Left Movement, the parties New Cyprus and United Cyprus, the trade union of Turkish Cypriot teachers KTÖS, the Basin-Sen press workers union and the trade union DEV-İŞ.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Varosha, the fenced-off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as ‘ghost town’. 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. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.
Kudret Ozersay, the “foreign minister” of the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, arranged in late August a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists and media in the fenced-off part of Famagusta for the first time in 45 years and announced that he will gradually open the city.