Officials from Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) traveled Friday to Varosha (Maraş), an abandoned tourist resort in the northern part of the divided island.
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy, accompanied by TRNC’s Environment and Culture Minister Unal Ustel, inspected the city from both air and ground.
Varosha is a ghost town with forbidden entry, with the exception of the Turkish army personnel.
Ersoy said a project prepared by the TRNC will submitted to Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry. The Ministry ready to provide the necessary technical and financial support after an ownership inventory work will complete.
The TRNC government will coordinate its actions regarding Varosha with Ankara, sources told Demirören News Agency (DHA), adding that an expert team from the TRNC will visit Varosha to make a list of movable and immovable properties in the city.
Varosha was a famous resort region in Cyprus which boasted a capacity of 10,000 beds across more than 100 hotels. However the city closed since 1974. That same year, Turkish military forces intervened in the island following a Greek-inspired coup. The coup followed decade-long inter-ethnic violence and terrorism targeting Turkish Cypriots, who forced to live in enclaves. That time Greek Cypriots unilaterally changed the constitution in 1963 and stripped the island’s Turks of their political rights.
The city protected by a 1984 U.N. Security Council resolution, stating that the the empty town can only resettled by its original inhabitants. If the Greek Cypriots had accepted the 2004 United Nations Annan plan for the reunification of the island. Varosha would now be back under Greek Cypriot control and the residents would have their homes back.
If the Greek and Turkish sides reach an agreement, Greek Cypriots will gain access to Varosha and Turkish ports and airports. And Turkish Cypriots will be able to engage in direct trade via the Famagusta port.
According to Daily Sabah