Government is trying to deal with Turkish deadlocks and provocative plans, Cypriot official says

Cyprus’ government, addressing the international community at every opportunity, is trying to tackle the deadlocks and provocative plans of Turkey, which seeks to create two states on the island and which is proceeding with illegal interventions in the fenced-off area of Turkish occupied Famagusta, the Council of Ministers Secretary, Theodosis Tsiolas said on Sunday.

Tsiolas was addressing, on behalf of the Government, the annual memorial service in honour of the people from the community of Agios Andronikos of Karpasia who were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.The memorial service was held at the Church of Agia Fotini, in Kolossi, in Limassol.

Tsiolas, said that the country was still experiencing the catastrophic consequences of “the tragic chain of events” that led to the 1974 invasion.

He said that the village of Ayios Andronikos in the Karpasia area, paid a heavy price, since, during the Turkish invasion “six great young men” of the community, with noble feelings and spirit of self-sacrifice, generously offered their services to their homeland.

The remains of four of them, Odysseas Elias, Nicos Andreou Kyriakou, Michalis Paraschou and Panayiotis Kiotis, were identified in recent years through the exhumation and identification programme of the Committee on Missing Persons and were given to their families for burial. Two more, however, Panayiotis Zachariou and Michalakis Koumi are still on the missing persons list.

Tsiolas said that almost half a century later, Cyprus was still suffering the tragic consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion.

The government, he added, ”has not stopped for a moment demanding a just and viable solution to our national problem, which will lead to the creation of a modern and operational state.” A solution, he said, based on European principles and values ​​and ensuring peace.

The President of the Republic, he said, despite the challenges and obstacles, continues to declare the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to continue the dialogue, from the point where it left off “as a result of Turkey’s refusal to accept the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General himself on the abolition of the anachronistic system of guarantees, of intervention rights, the permanent presence of the occupying army but also respect for the implementation of human rights.”

He added that, the government, addressing the international community at every opportunity, is trying to face the deadlocks and provocative plans of Turkey, which is seeking the creation of two states in Cyprus and is proceeding with illegal interventions in the fenced area of Famagusta.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’. UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July 2021 a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha. On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

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