It is unacceptable to keep Varosha/Maraş closed, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has said. The Turkish VP was addressing the round table meeting held in Maraş on Saturday.
In a statement at the meeting, Oktay said:
“It is not legally, politically or financially acceptable to remain idle about this paradise coast, which is under the control of the TRNC.”
He also said that the census conducted in Maraş was very important, that the status quo would not be accepted and that declarations that the closed city would be reopened were not just empty words.
The meeting, organised by the Turkish Bar Association, was also attended by Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay, Commander of the military forces in the TRNC, General Sezai Ozturk, President of the Turkish Bar Association Metin Feyzioglu and former Speaker of the House Sibel Siber.
The Turkish Vice President said that the perception that Maras is in TRNC territory is very important, as was the census work being carried out by the TRNC government. He added, “Some circles have not yet accepted this”.
Oktay went on to say that the majority of the land in the enclosed town was the property of the Evkav, given to third parties by the British Colonial Administration in the 1950s and that archival material was available on these matters. He argued that the decisions of the National Security Council and International Law should apply to everyone and added: “Evkaf lands cannot be transferred or sold, they can only be rented and that ownership of the land reverts to the Evkaf”.
Meanwhile, former Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber, who was present at the meeting said, inter alia, that a solution would not come if they were to wait and stressed that property was the cornerstone of the solution.
Finally, President of the Turkish Bar Association Metin Feyzioglu, said that we can now bring the idea of a ‘velvet divorce’ onto the agenda. He spoke of a stalemate that had led to the non-acceptance of political equality and unilateral actions by the Greek Cypriots on the issue of hydrocarbons. He said that “the initiative to open Varosha will be the solution to the Cyprus problem”.