Both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership are fully aware of the position of the European Union on Varosha, Commission spokesperson Stefan De Keersmaecker told the Cyprus News Agency, responding to a question on the opening of more parts of the beach of the fenced-off area, which he said was a step in the wrong direction.
De Keersmaecker said that the Commission is “well aware” of these developments and is following them with “great concern.”
“The Turkish Government and the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community are fully aware of the EU position on Varosha” said the spokesperson, who is responsible for issues related to regional policy and structural reforms.
“We continue to be guided by the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions with respect to Varosha, which consider attempts to settle any part of the city by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible, and call for the transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations” he added.
He underlined that “no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those Resolutions”, stressing that opening new parts of the beach or preparing it for the summer season as recently reported by the media "is a further step in the wrong direction.”
“The EU once again underlines the need to avoid unilateral actions in breach of international law and renewed provocations, which could raise tensions on the island and compromise the ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties towards a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.
Asked to clarify what actions the EU could take on this issue as well as the wider Turkish interventions into Turkish Cypriot affairs, the spokesperson said that he cannot add anything further than reiterating that actions that undermine Security Council resolutions are unacceptable.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta is often described as a “ghost town”, and the UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) urged that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus, should be extended to include Varosha.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha and on October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.