Today (23 July 2021), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Presidency has made a statement regarding the fenced-off area of Maraş/Varosha which contains factual errors.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is taking out of the box and constructive steps in the fenced-off area of Maraş/Varoşa which is a part of its territory. In addition to the use of the public areas, the TRNC Council of Ministers has decided to remove the military status of a certain part of the fenced-off area of Maraş/Varosha. As our President has clearly stated, the decision taken is not only in line with international law but also aims to protect the rights of the property owners.

The wording of the statement of the UNSC Presidency on the “reopening of the part of the fenced-off area of Varosha” is misleading. The TRNC Council of Ministers has not made a decision for the reopening of the said area removed from military status. It is regrettable for UNSC to make a statement based on the groundless claims by the Greek Cypriot side concerning the “resettlement” of the fenced-off areas of Maraş/Varosha.

Despite the fact that our decisions regarding the fenced-off area of Maraş/Varosha also welcomed by Greek Cypriots, it is unfortunate that the UNSC reacted negatively to our initiative to protect the property owners.

It is still remembered that the negotiation processes aiming at a “bi-zonal, bi-communal federation”, especially the Annan Plan, have failed over and over again due to the rejectionist attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. It is an undeniable fact that the negotiations, which envisioned a federal solution model and remained inconclusive for nearly 50 years, have been exhausted and are the relics of the past.

The Turkish Cypriot People desire a sustainable and lasting agreement with the Greek Cypriot side based on cooperation. A sustainable and lasting agreement is only possible with the acknowledgement of the sovereign equality and equal international status as our inherent right. Instead of making efforts to impose a consumed solution model on the parties, it would be appropriate for the UNSC to take an approach that takes into account the prevailing facts of the Island.

The expression “the People of Cyprus” in the UNSC Presidency’s statement does not reflect the realities on the Island. There is not one People on the Island but two separate Peoples, namely the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. We expect the UNSC to take this fact into account in its statements and decisions.

In line with the proposals made by our President during the 5+UN informal meeting held in Geneva, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to make a positive contribution to the efforts to reach a sustainable and lasting agreement.