Sep 09 2019

Turkey to open consulate in Cypriot ghost town of Famagusta

Turkey is to open a consulate in the city of Famagusta on the divided island of Cyprus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday.

The move comes as the United Nations begins a new round of exploratory talks aimed at reunifying the island, which has been split since a Turkish invasion of the northern third of Cyprus in 1974. A Greek Cypriot administration in the south of the island is recognised internationally as the government of all of Cyprus, while a breakaway Turkish Cypriot government in the north is recognised only by Turkey,

“We will open our consulate general in Famagusta, which will be our 243rd mission in the world. No one will have the power to break the Turkish Cypriot bond with the motherland!” Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.

Famagusta lies at the eastern end of the line dividing the two sides. The Turkish military fenced off Varosha, a beachfront resort district of Famagusta, after the 1974 invasion, leaving it to become a ghost town.

A 1984 UN resolution calls for the handover of Varosha to UN control and prohibits any attempt to resettle it by anyone other than the Greek Cypriots who were forced to leave.