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Media Watch 2003

19 September 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 19 September 2003 written by a Staff Reporter.
Return of Varosha the only acceptable solution

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday demanded the return of the abandoned ghost town of Varosha outside occupied Famagusta, after Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Wednesday repeated his intention to resettle the area.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said Denktash has repeatedly made statements about the opening of Famagusta, but never made such a gesture. “What he adds in his proposal is that the area will be also under UN administration. In any case, he insists that that the area should come under Turkish Cypriot administration,” he said.
“This is not acceptable, what we insist is that the town of Famagusta be returned to its legitimate citizens, as provided by the high level agreements and the UN resolutions”, Chrysostomides said.

Denktash said on Wednesday the Turkish side was continuing to make preparations for the introduction of new measures, which would include the opening of Varosha for resettlement in co-operation with the United Nations.

He said that the Vakiflar, Turkish Cypriot religious foundations, did not want to see the properties deteriorate, and in order to prevent further decay of unclaimed Greek Cypriot properties, the Turkish side was considering the leasing of these properties.

Since 1974, Turkish troops have had control of the abandoned town but under a UN resolution the status quo must be maintained in the absence of a Cyprus settlement."