Outrage As Erdogan Plans To Reopen Seaside Town Of Verosha Fled By Cypriots During The 1974 Turkish Invasion

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Outrage As Erdogan Plans To Reopen Seaside Town Of Verosha Fled By Cypriots During The 1974 Turkish Invasion

Photo: The once- bustling tourist town of Varosha — when it was full of sunbathers– and now, under Turkish occupation

There was outrage from Greek-Cypriot refugees on Tuesday after an announcement from the Turkish government stated that it is to reopen the town of Varosha, northern Cyprus. The town was emptied of its Greek residents during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, the majority of whom fled to the south of the island.

Turkey invaded Cyprus, then part of the Greek state, in 1974, and has occupied the north of the island since that time. The occupation is not recognised by any international body and the United Nations rulings of 550 & 789 have explicitly demanded that Turkey leaves the island so that the Greek-Cypriot refugees can return home. 39,000 ethnic Greek-Cypriots were removed from their homes by Turkish forces during the occupation.

Turkey has rejected these demands on many occasions.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan said in a statement alongside the 'Prime Minister' of Northern Cyprus:

"God willing, we will start to use the Maras beach on Thursday morning together with our people. We hope that the whole of Maras is opened to use after ongoing work is completed by respecting property rights."

'Maras' is the Turkish name for the town.

The Cypriot Prime Minister released a statement in response:

"This threatening and illegal action of Turkey and its puppets in Cyprus will be reported to the Security Council of the United Nations, the European Union, and all other international fora as an action that violates international law and the resolutions of the UNSC, and is against the latest conclusions of the EU Council."

Thomas Kazakos, Director General of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, who was made a refugee by the Turkish invasion of his hometown, described his feelings in a tweet:

"In 1974 I was pushed out from "the house where I was born" in (enclosed) Famagusta. Next Thursday, 46 years later, the beach of my house will be "open for use"… while I am still a Refugee !!!"

Around 10,000 people died in the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974, in which rapes, killings and acts of genocide were committed against the native population. The Turks claimed the invasion was to protect ethnic Turks from the political upheavals and alleged potential discrimination that was occurring within Greek and Cypriot society at that time. However, there is very little evidence that there was any widespread discrimination or danger to any ethnic Turks living in Cyprus and this was likely merely an excuse used by Turkey to justify the invasion.

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Thinking Humanity: Outrage As Erdogan Plans To Reopen Seaside Town Of Verosha Fled By Cypriots During The 1974 Turkish Invasion
Outrage As Erdogan Plans To Reopen Seaside Town Of Verosha Fled By Cypriots During The 1974 Turkish Invasion
Outrage from Greek-Cypriot refugees on Tuesday after an announcement from the Turkish government stated that it is to reopen the town of Varosha.
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