On Thursday, the Prime Minister of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ersin Tatar opened the beach in Varosha quarter for tourists. According to the Cypriot government, this is a provocation: since the Turkish occupation in 1974, the Greek Cypriots escaped from the conflict zone, this paradise has become a ghost town. On Sunday, presidential elections will be held in the occupied part of the island, during which Ersin Tatar put forward his candidacy against the incumbent president Mustafa Akinja.
The calculation may not be justified
Hurriyet Daily News is puzzled to comment on what happened:
вАЬAll this, of course, is the desperate last-minute attempts by Tatar [the prime minister of Northern Cyprus] to win the upcoming presidential election. So far, this decision seems to be supported only by ultra-right groups and adherents of the National Unity Party [Tatar Party]вА¶ Why has the prime minister taken a step that could cause a very controversial reaction in the country? вА¶ Recent opinion polls show that about 40 percent of the population has not yet decided on a choice. Recent events may seriously increase turnout during Sunday elections, but for Tatar and its supporters, this may be bad news.
The pearl should shine!
This step is long overdue,вАЭ journalist Kemal Akai sees the situation. He writes on the pages of Kibris:
вАЬFor the last 46 years, the main residents of the city have been snakes, centipedes, mice and all kinds of pestsвА¶ Has the city not suffered enough from abandonment and desolation? Is it fair that Marash [the Turkish name of Varoshi], formerly the pearl of the Mediterranean, is now fully self-reliant and does not serve the people? The decision to open the resort and bring it to its proper appearance, in our opinion, was taken a little late. However, we welcome it! As they say, вАШbetter late than neverвАЩ. ¬ї
Nicosia has been inactive for too long
Phileleftheros journalist Aristos Mikhailidis points out the mistakes of the Cyprus leadership:
вАЬUN Security Council Resolution 550, which requires Turkey to hand over Famagusta [the city of which Varosha quarter is a part] to the United Nations, has not been implemented вАФ and has been suspended since 1984. But what have we been doing with you over the years? Have we insisted on making progress in this matter? Did you negotiate, inform the public? Beaten on the sabbath, indicating that the transformation of an entire city into a ghost is a mad consequence of the occupation? Were they calling for common sense against the background of complete irrationality of what was going on? Were any strategies put forward? No! We got used to everything and took the situation for granted. And now that we have been confronted with a fact, we donвАЩt even know how to react вА¶вАЭ.