Turkish President Erdogan Criticized Over Plans to Reopen ‘Ghost Town’ in Cyprus

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and a top European Union (EU) official have criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his plans to reopen a part of an abandoned town in 

Erdogan, together with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Ersin Tatar, announced on July 20, plans to partially reopen the former east coastal resort Varosha — a move Anastasiades denounced as “illegal and unacceptable,” according to Euronews.

Since the Turkish invasion in 1974, Varosha has been viewed as a “ghost town” after the invasion emptied it of its Greek Cypriot residents.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that Erdogan’s plans constituted an “unacceptable unilateral decision.”

“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 a return to talks on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue,” Borrell said.

Borrell added that the EU will follow closely on the United Nations Security Council’s closed consultation on Cyprus to be held on July 21.

“The EU continues to hold the Government of Turkey responsible for the situation in Varosha,” Borrell also said.

Erdogan made the announcements during his visit to the Mediterranean island to mark the 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.

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