Chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and candidate for the forthcoming presidential election, Tufan Erhurman spoke about the opening of the enclosed town of Varosha/Maraş and Nicosia International Airport. Speaking on a broadcast on the private television station Genc TV, Erhurman said that the government had gone so far as to announce that it would open Maraş without consulting the United Nations and added:
“It is not possible to open Varosha in this way. In conditions where we have not yet reached a solution [to the Cyprus problem], we want our people to mix with the international community and under international law. And if there is to be a financial benefit from Varosha, this must be done by a formula under international law. Varosha has always been regarded as part of the overall solution and as a step that will bring us closer to a comprehensive solution. The government’s stance from the beginning was one that has not taken into account the UN. When we look at the UN Security Council resolutions, the issue is not just a property issue. The Security Council calls for Varosha to be transferred to UN administration”.
Commenting on President Anastasiades’ proposal to set up a joint committee on the issue of Varosha, Erhurman said that if a special committee was to be set up, alongside the issue of Varosha, Nicosia International Airport and hydrocarbons should also be on its agenda.
“If we do not reach a comprehensive solution soon, instead of sitting and waiting, let us discuss under the supervision of the UN these issues that will lead us step by step to the overall solution”, he added:
“With the opening of Nicosia International Airport together with Varosha, we will also solve the problem of direct flights and direct trade. This was a UN proposal. So we will bring to the table a UN proposal. If this is not the case, I will open Varosha in conjuction with the Real Estate Committee [Immovable Property Commission]. I do not exclude both the UN and the Greek Cypriot community. I am simply making my proposals before international law”.
Referring to the issue of direct flights and direct trade, Ehrmann questioned whether EU membership was the only reason why Britain did not conduct direct trade and direct flights with North Cyprus and added that they should have “more intensive” relations with Britain. “We need to discuss with Britain our athletes and trade and other issues”, he added.
Referring to the issue of hydrocarbons, Erhurman said that Turkish Cypriots are one of the two founding partners who have a say over these resources, “but our reason [to do so] is constantly diminishing”, he said.