Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot building contractors’ union Cafer Gurcafer, has said that some questions had been raised after the statements made by the government regarding the opening of the fenced-off city of Maras/Varosha. Gurcafer noted that in 2006, the building contractors had submitted a study to the then officials for the opening of the fenced-off city to its former owners under Turkish Cypriot administration in order for Famagusta’s economy and the construction sector to be revived.
Arguing that the conditions of that period had been appropriate for the opening of Varosha/Maras, Gurcafer said that they could not proceed, because former Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat had told them that Varosha was a part of the comprehensive solution and that Turkey also viewed this issue in the same way.
Noting that the fact that Varosha had been brought onto the agenda today was worrisome, Gurcafer said that such a step would seriously harm relations between the two communities and increase tension in a period during which tension over natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean already existed. “We need measures which will ease tensions”, he added.
Gurcafer said that no one should draw the conclusion from the above-statement that he thought that the stance of the Greek Cypriot side was correct and underlined the importance of refraining from tension. “You cannot avoid the disaster which will be created by a possible war”, he added.
Recalling that UN Resolutions existed regarding Varosha, Gurcafer wondered whether the Turkish side would be able to pay the price of opening the fenced-off city contrary to the above-mentioned resolutions.
Gurcafer argued that the government’s decision for Varosha was not correct from the point of view of its timing and was a step which increases tension. “This situation will influence very negatively the climate for investments. Our economy will receive a blow”, he pointed out.
“We are facing a very serious danger because resources could not be found for the Immovable Property Commission [IPC]”, he said expressing the view that the building contractors were closely interested in the developments in the IPC. He noted that the inventory study announced by the government would need at least two years and 300 million Turkish lira as a minimum and added that the building contractors could support this process without taking any money. “We must create resources for the Immovable Property Commission by using our funds correctly”, he concluded.