Ankara ac­ti­vates Cyprus plan B

Turkey bent on up­grad­ing sta­tus of oc­cu­pied north in wake of failed talks

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In the af­ter­math of the failed talks to re­unify Cyprus ear­lier in the month, Turkey is, ac­cord­ing to sources, ac­ti­vat­ing its Plan B in a bid to up­grade the oc­cu­pied north’s in­ter­na­tional sta­tus.

Ac­cord­ing to un­con­firmed re­ports, Turkey’s diplo­matic and mil­i­tary au­thor­i­ties have al­ready re­ceived in­struc­tions to pre­pare for new ini­tia­tives, which in­clude plans to open up the fenced-off ghost town of Var­soha – an aban­doned quar­ter of Fa­m­a­gusta in the is­land’s oc­cu­pied north – and al­low the re­turn of thou­sand of Greek-Cypriot refugees, al­beit un­der Turk­ishCypriot au­thor­ity.

Last week, Turk­ish Cypri­ots an­nounced that mem­bers of the is­land’s Ma­ronite com­mu­nity can re­turn to their vil­lages in the north and live un­der un­der Turk­ish Cypriot ad­min­is­tra­tion. A Turk­ish-Cypriot com­mit­tee is re­port­edly mak­ing the nec­es­sary prepa­ra­tions.

A source told Kathimerini that the de­ci­sion for the Ma­ronites could serve as a model for Varosha.

In ad­di­tion, Ankara is also re­port­edly mulling changes to the im­mov­able prop­erty com­mis­sion (IPC) it set up to deal with Greek- Cypriot claims for com­pen­sa­tion for their oc­cu­pied prop­er­ties. Among Ankara’s aims is to make the com­mit­tee, which has so far proved in­ef­fec­tive, more at­trac­tive to Greek-Cypriot own­ers.

With re­gards to nat­u­ral gas re­sources, the north’s so-called en­ergy min­is­ter told Kathimerini that Turkey is plan­ning to in­stall a drilling plat­form off Karpa­sia.

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