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Group proposes the opening of occupied Famagusta July 29, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.

Status of inhabitants remains unclear

A group of Turkish Cypriot organisations have put forward a proposal for the opening of Famagusta, currently under Turkish military control and occupation since July 1974, but its status and the chances of the return of the rightful inhabitants remain unclear.

Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos, who seemed to be aware of the moves leading up to the proposal, said he personally viewed it in a positive light but stressed that any initiative on Famagusta should be placed on the agenda of the July 8 agreement.

In an announcement in English, Greek and Turkish under the title “Proposal for the revival of Famagusta including Varosha,” the eight associations state: “Famagusta, including Varosha, offers a breakthrough opportunity to be a model of interaction, communication and cooperation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots at various levels, serving as an example for a future re-united Cyprus.”

They then formulate their proposal as follows >

  • “We suggest the establishment of a committee, consisting of Greek and Turkish Cypriot stakeholders and representatives of the two communities, which will work under the auspices of the UN and/or the EU to create an action plan for the realisation of the above objective.
  • “This action will have multiple positive effects both for the greater region of Famagusta and its people, as well as for the whole of Cyprus:
  • “It will enable the inhabitants of the ‘ghost city’ to revive and revitalise the city.
  • “It will allow the development of the region in various aspects.
  • “It will bring movement to the present stalemate and hope to the people of Cyprus that a positive change is possible.
  • “It can be an example of collaboration for joint ventures and investments by different business circles with various backgrounds and expertise.
  • “It will allow the internationally-approved, lawful operation and further development of the Famagusta port for mutual benefit.
  • “It will support the on-going process for the protection of the walled city of Famagusta as a UNESCO cultural heritage site.
  • “Multicommunal and multicultural education institutions at all levels can be initiated and the learning of each other’s language by the two communities encouraged.”

The proposal is signed by the New Cyprus Party, the German Cypriot Forum, Hands Across the Divide, Friends of Nature Cyprus, the TC Teacher’s Trade Union (KTOS), Cyprus Art Association, Rights and Freedoms Association, Cyprus-EU Association.

According to information from reliable sources, the initiative was originally clear on the need to return Famagusta to its Greek inhabitants, but this met with fierce hostility from the Turkish occupation regime, which exercised strong pressure on the associations to water their proposal down. The regime particularly turned the screw on KTOS, whose members could face direct consequences in their employment, while also trying to discredit the leaders of the initiative. This is clearly reflected in reports of the Turkish Cypriot press.

The daily Volkan, on July 16, alleged that KTOS General Secretary Sener Elcil and the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party Izzet Izcan, “who wanted the Greek Cypriot property in Varosha and the so-called TRNC to be returned to the Greek Cypriots,” were in fact exploiting Greek Cypriot properties.

According to the opposition daily Afrika, Elcil submitted a proposal package to the so-called prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer consisting of 7-points, one of which called for the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its pre-1974 owners and the demilitarisation of the whole island.

“Varosha, the part of Famagusta which was inhabited by Greek Cypriots before 1974, has been kept as a bargaining point till today, it is neither inhabited nor used in any way,” the introduction to the proposal said, and added: “This ‘ghost city’ as it has been characterised, is perhaps the most striking symbol of the anachronistic conflict and division of Cyprus.”

On a side note, occupied Ammochostos, or Famagusta, including Varosha area, according to information from reliable sources, today is not a “ghost city” as it is so presented. It is a city where Turkish military occupiers and illegal regime are currently living in, taking advantage of the city’s high touristic infrastructure, which belongs to its rightful inhabitants, who are the Greek Cypriots. According to the same reliable sources, the illegal Turkish regime, has taken advantage of the Greek Cypriot History and Heritage, advertising and promoting occupied Famagusta’s rich history, such as the Othello’s Tower, Ancient Salamis, Saint Barnabas Monastery and Saint Nicholas Cathedral as being few of the many examples, as being their own history and heritage!

This is just one example as how the illegal Turkish regime and occupying military force, for the last 33 years since July 1974, is trying to change history’s roots, altering all demographics, altering all original Greek names of the occupied towns and villages, taking advantage of the hotel infrastructure that Greek Cypriots builted on their own homeland. 

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