It will take a decade before the first former inhabitants of Varosha/Maras are able to return to their homes, a political analyst told Cyprus Weekly.
In an article written for the Greek Cypriot daily, journalist Annie Charalambous writes that Alexandros Lordos from the Centre of Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development said: “Realistically speaking, it would take a decade before the first Famagustan gets to return to Varosha, even if the opening was to take place tomorrow”
“And I say a decade because, firstly, it has to be clarified what UN control means and this seems to be a very complicated matter in itself.
“Secondly, we have to wait and see from where the money will come for the restructuring of the town whose infrastructure is ruined”, he added.
It’s estimated that the cost of restructuring and refurbishment of the town will cost around 5 billion euro, funded by the international community.
Meanwhile reports that the Turkish side plans to hand over Varosha to the UN remain unconfirmed.
“Given that there was no official communication and that the UN have not been informed by anyone (on this issue), it is understood that this is not an immediate thing,” a UN source told Cyprus Weekly.
The cost of restructuring and refurbishing Varosha is estimated to be around five billion euros, funded by the international community.
The Greek Cypriot government has said that opening up Varosha under Turkish Cypriot control would be akin to extending the Turkish occupation.
However, the South’s Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has also made it clear that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to discuss the opening of Varosha under UN control.
Turkish Cypriot chief negotiator Ozdil Nami’s response was that developments similar to those that would have been taken in the case of a comprehensive settlement, should not be expected.
This probably means that, as Varosha being handed to the UN comes within the parameters of a comprehensive settlement, this would not happen.
But as indicated by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu after the collapse of the talks in Switzerland, it could also mean that the Turkish side was no longer considering UN parameters at all.
The Turkish side may proceed by declaring their intention to open Varosha and then ask the Greek Cypriot property owners to take it or leave it, an insider said.