Turkey may re-open Cypriot ‘ghost town’ Varosha in October

The Cypriot tourist resort of Varosha, abandoned since a Turkish invasion in 1974, could be reopened in October, Hürriyet Daily News reported citing Kudret Özersay, the foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

Former residents could return to Varosha under the supervision of Turkish Cyprus and Turkey following presidential elections in the north on Oct. 11, Özersay said on Monday, according to the newspaper.

Varosha, a suburb of the eastern Cypriot city of Famagusta, was sealed after Turkey intervened militarily on the island in response to a Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military government then ruling Greece. A 1984 U.N. resolution prohibited any attempts to populate Varosha with persons other than former inhabitants.

“Both the Greek Cypriot side and other international players understand that as long as we proceed carefully, our policy on Varosha will come alive and cannot be prevented,” Özersay said, according to Hürriyet Daily News.

A team including Metin Feyzioğlu, the head of the Turkish Bar Association, Ergun Olgun, a former Turkish-Cypriot negotiator in U.N.-sponsored peace talks for Cyprus, and two officials of the Turkish Cypriot administration have been working on devising a new roadmap for Varosha since July last year.