The closed-off town of Maraş can only be opened under the UN administration and upon returning the properties to their legal owners, Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fikri Toros (CTP) has said in reference to Saturday’s high-level round table meeting, held to discuss how to reopen the fenced-off town.
The current coalition government has proposed reopening the town under Turkish Cypriot administration.
Explaining that the “legal owners” are judged by the European Court of Human Rights, Toros pointed out that with the current political approach, the word “closed” in front of the closed Maraş is doomed to stay there.
On Saturday, addressing the Maraş round table meeting, which was held in the fenced-off town, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the Turks and the Turkish Cypriots would not wait another half century. The patience of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots had been exhausted, Oktay said.
He also said that the opening up of Varosha will enhance the future prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots and it is important to create social peace between the two peoples.
In response to the meeting, Fikri Toros made the following statement:
“Closed Maraş has a special importance in the comprehensive federal solution negotiations that are carried out depending on UN parameters.
“Within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions 550 and 789 in relation to closed Maraş, it is stated under what conditions the region can be opened before a comprehensive solution [to the Cyprus problem].
“According to these decisions, which have become part of international law, closed Maraş can be opened under UN administration and by returning the property to its legal owners. Who the “legal owners” are also judged by the European Court of Human Rights.
“The President, who has been elected by the Turkish Cypriot people with their free will and authorized to negotiate, is the only interlocutor of the UN in the status of “Community Leader”.
“The Council of Ministers can evaluate if it wants to make such an initiative.
“However, this assessment is meaningful and can serve its primary purpose if it is transformed into a decision sharing, dialogue and consultation with all political parties and the President of the Assembly.
“Such an important decision can only be accepted as an international law initiative if it is taken in this way and may have a positive “game changing” effect on solution negotiations.
Therefore, acting under international law is essential.
“The use of the “Closed Maras Opening” as a propaganda material in the [presidential] selection process deepens the distrust existing between the parties; complicates the continuation of the solution process; and the responsibility for all this is imposed on the Turkish Cypriot side.
“With this political approach, the word “closed” in front of the closed Maraş is doomed to stay there!”