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Demand to return Morphou is a deal breaker

7 July 2016

An assurance given by President Nicos Anastasiades to the self-styled Mayor of Morfou (Guzelyurt), Charalambos Pittas that “the Cyprus problem cannot be solved without the return of Morfou ” and that he has stated this clearly to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, has brought about a series of reactions.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog, the Turkish Cypriot mayor of Guzelyurt (Morfou), Mahmut Ozcinar and a number of organisations in the area have responded to this statement.

Asked to comment on the issue Ozcinar told the paper, inter alia, the following:

“Before referring to this issue I want to note the following: The Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos will visit south Cyprus and will be granted the title of honorary citizen of Morfou. The so-called mayor and the municipal council have taken such decision! President Akinci must make a statement on this issue.

Our neighbours continue to ignore us. However, we have been holding local elections in Morfou since 1976. And the people of Morfou elect their administrators. We have been here since 1976. I cannot understand how the President of Greece accepts such title. I am clearly saying this: The municipal council of Morfou has not taken such decision.

Coming to the return of Morphou (Guzelyurt), their policy on Morfou has been continuing for many years. It must be known that this place is not the Morfou of 1974. Investments have been made, it has been developed. And our citizens who came afterwards and were given property of equal value, settled here by leaving their property in the south. They turned this place into their homeland and rebuilt their lives here. They were born here, they died here. From a humanitarian point of view, this wish [of the Greek Cypriots] cannot be granted. In a possible referendum the entire people, not only Morfou, must clearly understand what will happen and make their decision accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper reports that Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, has also referred to the issue in his Twitter account. He said: “The president of the Greek Cypriot administration Anastasiades said that there could never be a solution without giving back Morfou. This is a reply to those calling 2016 as the year of the solution. My reply is: Morfou can never be returned”.

Diyalog, Yeni Duzen

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