Talat not against return of Maras

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Ortam’ newspaper reports that Cemal Ozyigit, general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has repeated the view of his party in favour of the return of the fenced off town of Maras/Varosha to the Greek Cypriots under the supervision of United Nations (UN) and of the opening of the port of Famagusta to international trade in return of this. In a statement, Ozyigit noted that the simultaneous opening of Maras and the port of Famagusta would harm no one. On the contrary, he underlined, all sides will win from this development. He said that this could help in the solution of the economic problems experienced in both sides of the island.

Ozyigit noted that his party sees the opening of Maras/Varosha as an important step towards the solution of the Cyprus problem and not as an obstacle and added that they will support every step taken on this issue.

Ozyigit recalled that the UN Secretary-General had submitted to both sides, a 77-page document in which he notes the issues on which the sides agreed, the issues on which they reached close to an agreement and the issues on which they are too far from agreeing. He argued that ignoring all these and starting from scratch would not be the right approach.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Ortam’ reported that the former Turkish Cypriot President, Mehmet Ali Talat has stated that he had never been against the opening of Varosha, but “it should be known that Varosha is a very difficult issue”. In statements to a TV station, Talat said that perhaps the solution of the Cyprus problem might be easier than the issue of Varosha, and added that he thinks this because of the existence of hundreds of points of deadlock in the conditions of the “non-solution”.

Furthermore, under the title “Call from the YKP: let’s start the solution from Varosha”, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris’ newspaper reported that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) has called on the government to declare that it is ready to discuss the issue of Varosha as soon as possible.

Pointing out that the Turkish side sees Varosha as part of the comprehensive solution and does not want to discuss it, YKP recalls that in the Kyprianou-Denktas High Level Agreement of 1979, Varosha was accepted as an issue on which agreement should be reached before the solution of the Cyprus problem. “If Varosha is not opened, no one will believe that Turkey is serious about a solution”, notes YKP and calls for a settlement on Varosha/Maras before negotiations on the Cyprus problem begin.

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