Head of the European Parliament condemns Turkey over Varosha “provocations” in Cyprus
Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, condemned Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ fenced town of Varosha, in a reiteration of the institution’s position over the issue.
In response to Cypriot President Nikos Anatsaiades’ correspondence sent to her, Metsola shared the Greek Cypriot leader’s view that Turkish “provocations” in Varosha, undermine confidence-building efforts between the two sides of the divided island, Cyprus Mail said on Friday, citing a Presidency statement.
Turkey’s actions also pose a threat against the prospect of the continuation of efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, according to Metsola, Cypriot newspaper added.
The Eastern Mediterranean island has been ethnically split since 1974, when Turkish military intervened in response to a Greek Cypriot coup d’etat, ordered by the military junta in Greece, aiming to unify the island with Greece (ENOSİS). Internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, governed by the Greek Cypriots, controls the south of the island, and the Turkish Cypriots, the north. The administration in the northern part of Cyprus is only recognised by Turkey.
In October 2020, Turkish authorities announced the partial re-opening of Varosha in eastern city of Famagusta, that was vacated and fenced-off since 1974, constituting a negotiation matter of decades-long talks for reunifying the island. The move prompted immediate condemnation from the United Nations, United States and the European Union, blaming Turkey and Turkish Cypriot authority of violating international law.
A UN Security Council resolution adopted in May 1984, considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible. and calls for the transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations. Another UNSC resolution on Varosha, adopted in November 1992, affirms the 1984 resolution and calls on Turkish authorities to put the fenced town under the control of UNFICYP (UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus).