Erdoğan calls on Greek Cypriots to apply to a panel to claim their properties in Varosha
The Greek Cypriots who own a property in Varosha should appeal to the Immovable Property Commission in a bid to resolve the deadlock in the abandoned city, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, underlining that the former resort city now awaits its real owners.
“Those who have properties in the South (of Cyprus) should apply to the Immovable Property Commission. The problem will be resolved as their compensation will be paid, and these places will find its owners,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 15 as he paid a historic visit to the abandoned city of Varosha, called Maraş in Turkish, since 1974.
The Greek Cypriots living in Varosha left the city after the Turkish military intervention into the island in 1974 to save the Turkish Cypriots from the Greek Cypriots’ attacks. Known as a ghost city, Vasrosha was abandoned since then with no permission to public access.
The Immovable Property Commission was established in the early 2000s in a bid to deal with the Cypriots’ claims over their properties in the south and the north of Cyprus after the island was divided.
“After having seen the closed Maraş, I thought ‘Why this beautiful Maraş area, as the North and the South, is kept closed to the local people?” President Erdoğan said, adding that it’s time to move.
Erdoğan also said that a new process has begun in Varosha after the Turkish Cypriot government decided to partially open the city. “The real owners belonging here are well-known. And today, this place is now waiting the day when it will meet its real owners.”
Echoing Erdoğan, the president of North Cyprus, on Sunday urged people in the Greek Cypriot administration who own real estate in the abandoned Turkish Cypriot town of Varosha to apply for payment for their property. Tatar called on Greek Cypriots to apply to the Immovable Property Commission in North Cyrus for their assets to be returned.
“A large part of Varosha is already open, but this beautiful region, which once was closed and has been preserved for 46 years, is now ready to open,” he said.
Tatar underlined that the opening of Varosha and the ability of property owners to come via the Immovable Property Commission and receive their assets was a “requirement of human rights.”
Erdoğan opened a new hospital
As part of his one-day trip to North Cyprus, Erdoğan attended the opening ceremony of the Lefkosa Emergency Hospital in Nicosia. “The most important sign of solidarity with the [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] TRNC is this [Lefkosa Emergency Hospital] emergency hospital,” he said.
“We wouldn’t have completed this hospital in as short a time as 45 days if our hearts were not united with the TRNC,” he added.
Citing Turkey’s support for North Cyrpus, Erdogan pointed out that Ankara had provided 149 million Turkish Liras ($19 million) in aid to the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We came to our brothers’ aid in North Cyprus from the very beginning of the pandemic. We provided all kinds of support in the field of health,” he said, adding that a 500-bed hospital would also be opened soon in North Cyprus.