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Call to legal owners: Come!
The much-debated visit to Maraş (Varosha) by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was held. Erdoğan called to the legal owners of Maraş (Varosha): The legal owners should return; the properties will be reinstated or the owners will be compensated. The real owners of this place are known and now we are waiting for the day the real owners will be reunited with this place. On his part, TRNC President Ersin Tatar said that the former residents will be able to return to Maraş (Varosha) by applying to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). This was what humanity dictated, he added. Flags of the Konya Municipality and TOKI (Turkey’s Housing Development Administration) hung from the buildings in Maraş (Varosha) which has remained closed for 46 years under the control of the military.
- Three promises from Turkish President Erdoğan to Tatar: 1. Electricity and natural gas via underwater pipeline. 2. New presidential palace. 3. A visit to Azerbaijan together.
- Police barricade against protest staged by youth – The Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) youth organisation held a protest titled “This country is ours, let’s remind everyone”. Also, the Bağımsızlık Yolu (Independence Road), the Left Movement and organisations supported by the Social Democratic Party (TDP) held separate protests against Ankara. All groups were stopped by police barricades.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to our country with a high-level delegation to attend the November 15 Republic Day celebrations. Erdoğan, who was given a jubilant welcome, made the TRNC’s 37thanniversary celebrations all the more exciting.
- The two-state solution must be tabled from now on – President Tatar touched on the Cyprus problem in his speech during the November 15 Republic Day ceremony.
- Erdoğan and Tatar toured Maraş (Varosha).
- The pandemic hospital is officially opened.
Opened Maraş (Varosha) to Greek Cypriots
Turkish President Erdoğan, who came to the TRNC in line with the 37th anniversary celebrations, toured Maraş (Varosha). In addition to attending ceremonies, he gave messages as if he was the host.
- March to demand peace and democracy – CTP youth branch staged a protest for “Peace and Democracy.” They protested interference in the Turkish Cypriots’ political will.
- They united in the streets not at the picnic – Despite a verbal ban by the police, Bağımsızlık Yolu and Baraka Cultural Centre staged a protest under the slogan “Freedom not submission.”
Six important messages
Erdoğan said, “The Greek Cypriot leadership does not even want to share a hospital with Turkish Cypriots” and announced to the world the next steps to be taken. 1. Electricity and natural gas will be brought just like the freshwater from Anamur. 2. The IPC will operate; property owners will be resettled in Maraş (Varosha). 3. An initiative will be launched for Ersin Tatar to visit Azerbaijan. 4. A new presidential palace will be built in the TRNC. 5. The settlement will be a two-state solution based on sovereign equality. 6. A new fully equipped 500-bed hospital will be built in Nicosia.
- ‘Nothing like it seen before’ – (Turkish) President Erdoğan’s visit to the island with eight of his ministers worried Greek Cypriot side.
- He warned the Greek Cypriots – British High Commissioner Lillie said, “Political equality is a very important point for the solution of the Cyprus Problem.”
- He didn’t explain why – Greek Cypriot S.Y who tried to cross over to the north with 258 hunting rifle cartridges was arrested.
The police threats, which wanted to prohibit all the protests yesterday (Sunday) arbitrarily, did not work… Despite the ban, organisations which were supposed to stage protests in three different locations, joined forces and gathered at the same place. Police blocked the road with a barricade and did not allow the protestors to march to the Turkish Embassy.
- Tayyip Erdoğan targeted Şener Elcil in his speech – He said: “My brothers know very well the consequences,” reminding of the incidents on January 22 (2018) (Afrika protests)
- Erdoğan called on the Greek Cypriots in his speech in Maraş (Varosha) – He said: “Maraş (Varosha) is waiting for the day to be united with its real owners.”
- Erdoğan went to Atatürk but not to Dr Küçük or Rauf Denktaş.
Erdoğan visits north, calls for a two-state solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory, Regional/International Relations
Calls for a two-state solution were repeated on Sunday by both Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was in the north to attend celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the Turkish Cypriot state.
Erdoğan landed at Ercan (Tymbou) airport on Sunday a little after noon, where he was greeted by Tatar.
The two then proceeded to the military parade held in the northern part of Nicosia.
“We owe our independence to our national heroes, our glorious ancestry, and to Motherland Turkey,” Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar said in his address to the crowds which gathered for the main ceremony of the day.
Tatar explained the historical processes leading to the declaration of the Turkish Cypriot state.
“The declaration of our independence on November 15, 1983, is the result of the Greek Cypriot side’s refusal to recognize the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereign equality and the international community’s decision to take sides with the Greek Cypriot community,” Tatar argued.
He also said that the then-Greek Cypriot leader Makarios had perceived the 1960 partnership Republic as a “stepping stone for Enosis.”
“Since then, there has not been the slightest change in the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side,” Tatar said.
He added that the Greek Cypriot side continues to refuse to share governance or wealth with the Turkish Cypriots thus being the main reason why efforts to achieve a settlement based on political equality have failed.
“The Greek Cypriot side continues to reject our sovereign equality. They want to reduce the Turkish Cypriot community to a minority which can be controlled and dominated under Greek administration,” Tatar said, adding that this was why the Greek Cypriot side had rejected the Annan Plan in 2004.
Referring to the most recent process which commenced in 2008 and ended in Crans Montana in 2017, Tatar said the Greek Cypriot side continued to insist on its position which ultimately aimed to create a unitary state.
Tatar, nevertheless, said he was ready to return to the negotiations table but not for talks on a federal solution.
“We as the TRNC are ready to return to the negotiations table, however new solution models must be tabled. The two-state solution based on sovereign equality must be tabled,” Tatar stressed.
He repeated his view that there were two peoples and two states on the island which could collaborate or cooperate in certain areas.
“We are ready to take the necessary steps to transform Cyprus into an island of peace without making any concessions on our sovereignty and our rights,” Tatar said.
He added that “no one should expect the Turkish Cypriots to cut off their ties with Turkey either.”
Touching on Maraş (Varosha), Tatar argued that the fenced-off town is under the TRNC’s jurisdiction and is part of its territory.
“Our determination to reopen Maraş (Varosha) has brought a new dimension to the Cyprus problem,” Tatar said, stating that the decision, despite being condemned by the Greek Cypriots will allow the town’s former residents to return.
On the hydrocarbons issue, Tatar reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination with Turkey to protect its rights over the island’s natural resources.
Tatar also reminded the Greek Cypriot side about its proposal for the co-management of the island’s common resources based on sovereign equality.
“I wish to reiterate that any attempt in the Eastern Mediterranean to exclude the TRNC and Turkey, is doomed to fail. We will not allow anyone to usurp our legitimate rights,” Tatar stressed.
“We will never give up on our independent state, sovereignty, and the effective guarantees of motherland Turkey. We are determined to make our state live forever,” Tatar concluded.
In his official speech at the parade, Erdoğan said that 83 million Turks were celebrating with the Turkish Cypriots the founding of the state and how the flags with crescents on them showed “the point at which our national cause has reached”.
“We will build a peaceful future together without forgetting the pain which was endured for the joy of independence,” he said, adding that Cyprus, has regained its stability since Turkey’s military operation in 1974.
“Our priority is the solution of the Cyprus problem by ensuring the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriots and safeguarding their security,” Erdoğan said.
He said one of Turkey’s priorities was to find a viable solution to the Cyprus problem. “We tried in good faith, but the effort of one party alone is not enough to find a solution.”
Erdoğan also said no one should expect there to be peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean if the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey are not given their rightful place.
The Turkish President said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will no longer tolerate “diplomacy games” over rights to offshore resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“The seismic research and exploration activities will continue in the Eastern Mediterranean with determination until a fair and equitable agreement is reached,” he said.
Erdoğan recalled that the process in 2017 had collapsed as a result of the Greek Cypriot side’s refusal to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots.
The Turkish President also took a swipe at the international community, accusing the EU of failing to keep its promises to the Turkish Cypriot community.
“They have not given the support they had promised to give to north Cyprus. They are still telling lies today. It is not possible to return to the partnership, from which the Turkish Cypriots had been removed by force of arms in 1963 and had been removed completely with the Greek junta’s coup in 1974, with the Greek Cypriots,” Erdoğan said.
He pointed out there are two separate peoples and two separate states on the island.
“It is necessary to negotiate based on a two-state solution ensuring sovereign equality. The people of the TRNC have shown their political will in this regard in the latest elections,” he noted.
Touching on the Maraş (Varosha) issue, Erdoğan congratulated Tatar for his “courageous decisions to reopen the fenced-off town.”
“I hope Maraş (Varosha) will be revitalized soon and will no longer be the symbol of the absence of a settlement on the island,” Erdoğan added.
Referring to various objections to the decision to reopen the fenced-off town, Erdoğan pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots had been made to pay the price of the non-solution.
“The steps taken in Maraş (Varosha) will remove injustices. A new era will start in the town by considering property rights. We will reach this goal together,” Erdoğan stressed.
He added that the move is not intended to cause new grievances but to address old ones.
Following the ceremony in north Nicosia, Tatar and Erdoğan visited the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) for the highly symbolic Maraş (Varosha) “picnic” which prompted strong reactions from Greek Cypriots in the south, including the Greek Cypriot government which issued a statement describing the entire visit as a “provocation” and an “illegal act” in violation of UN resolutions.
Despite the rain, a large crowd waving flags had gathered to welcome him to the area although they were not allowed near the beach.
They spent an hour under a white, sheltered seating area which had been built especially for the purpose.
Speaking to the media before leaving, both repeated the messages they gave earlier in the day and urged the Greek Cypriot owners to claim their properties.
Defending the move to reopen the town, Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriot side has launched the efforts to reopen the town for the property owners to return.
“Former residents of Maraş (Varosha) can apply to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). Maraş (Varosha) is ready for opening. This is a step for humanity. We want to develop this place which had been closed for 46 years,” he added.
Tatar called on Greek Cypriots to apply to the IPC and to return.
Echoing the same message, Erdoğan said the property dispute in the town could be overcome with the Greek Cypriots applying to the IPC.
“A new process has been launched with the steps taken and Maraş (Varosha) is now waiting for the day it can be reunited with its real owners,” Erdoğan said.
He said that the former residents will either have their property reinstated or be paid compensation if they wished.
Erdoğan also said it was a shame such a beautiful area had remained off-limits to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for the past 46 years, adding that the time had come to take matters into their own hands.
“However the time has come to move forward because the international community has never accepted North Cyprus as an interlocutor when it comes to fair sharing,” he said.
In the meantime, Turkish Cypriots staged separate protests in Nicosia on Sunday against Turkey’s intervention in Turkish Cypriot affairs as well as the unilateral steps taken in Maraş (Varosha).
Some of the protesters carried banners #NoPicnicOverPain emphasizing their displeasure over the “picnic” in a place that had been kept closed for 46 years and leaving the lawful owners’ memories of their homes fresh.
Police had verbally banned all protests on Sunday but the protestors still went ahead with the march.
Bağımsızlık Yolu (Road to Independence) and Left Movement staged a protest in which nearly 300 people participated.
During the protest, which was also supported by BASIN-SEN (TC media workers’ union), Revolutionary Communist Union, and many other platforms, the organisers condemned efforts to interfere in the Turkish Cypriots’ political will.
“While the suffering of the labourers increases with the economic crisis, the local collaborators, instead of forming a new coalition government, disregard our political will and allow AKP (Justice and Development Party) and MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) to hold a picnic over the pain in Maraş (Varosha) as a show,” the organisers said.
They expressed their determination to continue “to be out on the streets” to raise their voice against “attacks on Turkish Cypriot democracy and political will.”
Some of the slogans during the protest were: “Take your hands off us, Erdoğan,” and “They are heading to a picnic, we to the streets.”
The protesters gathered at Dereboyu (Shakespeare Avenue) and marched towards the Turkish Embassy in north Nicosia until the police barricade.
In a separate event, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Youth Branch staged a protest in north Nicosia on Sunday.
The protestors gathered at the Yiğitler Burcu (Rocca Bastion) and marched to the Office of the President only to be stopped by the police barricade.
The CTP protest was staged under the theme of “Let’s remind that this is our country.” Nonetheless, when the police stopped the protestors, the participants started chanting ‘Freedom not submission’.
In a statement read during the protest, the CTP youth branch said they wanted to draw attention to the developments in Maraş (Varosha).
“The goal of our protest is to raise our voice against unilateral actions on Maraş (Varosha) that violate international law and the UN parameters,” the CTP said.
They added that the developments on the fenced-off town will have political and democratic consequences on the Turkish Cypriot community.
“We raise our voice to demand the immediate halt of unilateral steps on Maraş (Varosha),” the CTP youth branch said. CTP MPs Asım Akansoy, Fikri Toros, Sıla Usar İncirli, Fazilet Özdenefe and Doğuş Derya and the party’s general secretary Erdoğan Sorakın attended the march.
All three protests ended without incident.
>> The TC side is ready to return to the negotiating table but not for talks for a federal solution.
>> New solution models must be tabled. A two-state solution based on sovereign equality must be tabled.
>> There are two peoples & two states in Cyprus which can cooperate on certain issues.
>> TC side ready to take necessary steps to transform Cyprus into an island of peace without making any concessions its sovereignty & rights.
>> No one should expect the TCs to cut off their ties with Turkey.
>> Maraş (Varosha) is under TRNC’s jurisdiction & is part of its territory.
>> Our determination to reopen Maraş (Varosha) has brought a new dimension to the Cyprob. The move will allow the town’s former residents to return.
>> TC side determined with Turkey to protect its rights over the island’s natural resources.
>> Any attempt in the East Med to exclude TCs & Turkey is doomed to fail. We will not allow anyone to usurp our legitimate rights.
>> Turkey’s priority is the solution of the Cyprob by ensuring the legitimate rights of the TCs & safeguarding their security.
>> No-one should expect there to be peace & stability in the East Med if TCs & Turkey are not given their rightful place.
>> There are two separate peoples & two separate states on the island.
>> It is necessary to negotiate based on a two-state solution ensuring sovereign equality.
>> TCs have shown their political will in this regard in the latest elections.
>> Steps taken in Maraş (Varosha) will remove injustices.
>> The move is not intended to cause new grievances but to address old ones
>> Our aim is not to create new victims but to open Maraş (Varosha) for all.
>> GCs will be able to apply for their properties through the IPC.