Presidential candidate Kudret Özersay responded to criticism about his suggestion to open up Varosha/Maras and return it to the original owners, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.
Speaking on AS TV, Özersay talked about his views on the Varosha issue and said added that he hoped all the presidential candidates would have the courage to speak on TV.
Reminding that he had made the suggestion about Varosha in the past, Özersay explained that he had not meant that opening Varosha under the control of North Cyprus should be part of the negotiations, he said “I am not saying that we should negotiate with the Greek Cypriots”.
There is no point of repeatedly meeting for issues which have been exhausted on the same argument”, he said, adding: “When we negotiated the issues that depend on South Cyprus’ will, we were always disappointed”. Özersay noted that the opening of Varosha to would be a positive step during the time that the negotiations have collapsed.
“If you open Varosha, transfer it to civil management, connect it to the Famagusta Municipality, and give the lands to the former owners, this will bring economic revival to both sides in the area,” he said.
Özersay went on to say that he was advocating proactive politics, adding that the difference here is that, it will be the citizens rather than the political leaders of South Cyprus who will be taken as respondents. “Take out South Cyprus which is not considering you as a respondent but take the citizens of South Cyprus instead. You are taking a step which is appealing to them,” he said.
He noted that the suggestion of Varosha is one step ahead of the current status quo, stating that it would be received positively internationally. “On one hand the linking of a military area to civil management, on the other hand the elimination of the status quo, and taking the Greek Cypriot society as the respondent! And most important is the economic revival of the area.”
Özersay also stated that the realisation of the idea would alter the balance and force South Cyprus to take a step forward. Özersay emphasised that at a time where the negotiations have collapsed such a step would be vital. “In many issues before waiting to be told what to do by others, the Turkish Cypriot side [could] take initiatives” he said.