More Intransigence from Turkey

Back in the seventies it was the place to be. It was beautiful, it was warm and it was friendly. Varosha Beach in the city of Famagusta on the island of Cyprus appealed to many tourists including celebrities like Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot among many others.   

However, in 1974 that came to an end when Turkey occupied the northern part of Cyprus turning Famagusta into a ghost town and fencing off Varosha Beach thus making it inaccessible to all. 

Recently Turkey going against The United Nations resolution decided to open this beach which naturally caused a backlash from both Greece and Cyprus. 

Syriatimes had the opportunity to interview Marinos Sizopoulos president of the movement of social democrats in Cyprus EDEK. 

Q-Your comment about Turkey’s decision to reopen the beach at Varosha in the city of Famagusta in the occupied area of Cyprus?. 

Turkey's repeated illegal activities in the Cypriot EEZ and Famagusta, confirm its unreliability and unwillingness to respect international law and EU principles and values. 

That is why some EU countries should finally prioritize the principles and values that the EU should advocate, rather than safeguarding their country's financial interests. The EU must move from words to actions and immediately take escalating measures to prevent any trade, economic and political upgrading of Turkey-EU relations.  

Turkey's provocative action in Famagusta must take the appropriate response. In addition to the appeal to the Security Council, which has already been taken by the government, the Republic of Cyprus will have to adopt specific measures that will bring political and economic costs to the “regime” of the occupied areas. 

EDEK, the Socialist Party of Cyprus in which I am President, has been warning about these actions of Turkey for four years now and has already submitted concrete measures to the government in order to evaluate and adopt them. 

Q-Is this a preliminary step to something else?  

This decision is another step towards the realization of Turkey's goal for the settlement of the whole of Famagusta. Turkey is trying to take advantage of the geographical features of Famagusta, the port, the beach, its infrastructure issues, in order to strengthen the economy of the illegally occupied regime. At the same time, this action is another clear message that Turkey does not intend to resolve the Cyprus issue. Its goal is to conquer and control the whole island.  

Q-What does this action say about peace negotiations? 

For 44 years, the talks to resolve the Cyprus problem have not been positively completed due to Turkey's stance and provocative actions. We therefore believe that the government should not be involved in any negotiation process unless Turkey's provocative actions are stopped. The government should demand the adoption and implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 37/253 (1983). This Resolution demands the convening of an International Conference to discuss as a matter of priority the international aspect of the Cyprus problem which includes: 

  • The withdrawal of the occupying troops, 
  • The return of all refugees to safe conditions, 
  • The abolition of guarantees and the repatriation of the settlers. 

Any other process essentially strengthens Turkey's expansionist policy and brings it one step closer to completing its expansionist goal.

Interviewed by: Reem Haddad/ Editor-In-Chief