Cyprus tables recourse to UN Security Council against Turkish action on ghost city

Cyprus tabled a recourse to the United Nations Security Council asking for immediate action to counter a move by Turkey to open part of the Greek Cypriot ghost city of Famagusta in violation of Council resolutions, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Wednesday.

He was speaking after talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who arrived in Nicosia earlier in the day to discuss plans announced by Turkey, which the Cypriot government said clearly violate Security Council resolutions on the city.

State broadcaster CyBC said Cyprus is asking for a statement by the president of the council demanding the reversal of Turkish actions in the city.

A statement issued after President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a four-hour meeting of parliamentary party leaders, said the Turkish action constitutes a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992).

These resolutions call for the return of the lawful inhabitants of Famagusta, also known as Varosha, to their homes under the United Nations administration.

The statement also said that Turkey’s call to the inhabitants of the city is aimed at further advancing the permanent partition of Cyprus.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, during a military parade in the Turkish Cypriot part of the capital Nicosia on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of a 1974 military operation that led to the division of the eastern Mediterranean island, said the Turkish army would demilitarize part of the city.

He urged the Greek Cypriot inhabitants to return to this part of Famagusta, representing 3.5 percent of its area, under Turkish Cypriot administration.

All five permanent members of the Security Council expressed opposition to Turkey’s plans.

Anastasiades urged the Security Council to “give a clear message” in line with the reaction of its five permanent members, when it meets later on Wednesday in New York to discuss a report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on his Good Offices Mission and the mandate of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus.