On Monday, August 23, a three-hour meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers took place at the presidential residence in Troodos.
During the meeting, it was decided to cancel the passports of 14 Turkish Cypriots, including the leader of the unrecognized TRNC, Ersin Tatar.
By the way, the sanctions affected officials and persons involved in the opening of the Varosha neighborhood in the Famagusta area. In total, 10 people have lost their citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. Among them: "Prime Minister" Ersan Saner, "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, "Minister of Tourism" Fikri Ataoğlu.
During today's meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to revoke citizenship or refuse to renew or issue passports of the Republic of Cyprus to a number of persons who either participate in the so-called cabinet of the separatist state, or are members of the committee which decided to open Varosha. All of them undermine the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as contribute to the implementation of Turkey's plans to change the status of the Varosha enclave contrary to UN Security Council resolutions, '' government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said after the meeting.
In addition, the government of the Republic of Cyprus also filed a complaint against Turkey's actions with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
According to UN Security Council Resolution No. 550 of 1984, Varosha should remain closed until the descendants of Greek Cypriot owners who were expelled from Famagusta during the Turkish invasion in 1974 return there. The return of this area under the control of the UN peacekeepers (de facto it is under the control of the Turkish troops) is required by UN Security Council Resolution 789 of 1992.
Despite this, on October 8, 2020, the TRNC authorities opened access for tourists to the seaside part of the northern part of Varosha. And on July 20, 2021, Ersin Tatar said at a military parade in the Turkish part of Nicosia that 3.5% of the closed territory of Varosha will be demilitarized, transferred under the control of the civil administration of the TRNC and allocated for the use of owners, including Greek Cypriots, if the latter apply with a corresponding request to the Committee on Real Estate Issues.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the decision, saying that it would be beneficial to all parties. On July 23, 2021, the UN Security Council adopted a statement condemning the new position of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot authorities on the Varosha neighborhood and called for its revision.
Cyprus has been divided since the armed invasion of Turkey in 1974, provoked by a coup d'etat by supporters of the island's annexation to Greece. As a result of hostilities, approximately 37% of the territory of Cyprus was under Turkish control, on which the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was formed in 1983. The southern part of the island remained under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, a European Union country inhabited mainly by Greek Cypriots.
It must be said that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers caused a mixed reaction among local parties.
Thus, Akel called these actions a PR stunt and accused the government of failing to put forward effective measures that would help stop Turkey's plans to divide the island. The party said it was important to use all the real potential that could defeat Turkey in both the political and legal arena.
Given that Cyprus has filed four more appeals against Turkey, we expect the President to inform us of the legal prerequisites for this new state appeal and what costs are expected to be incurred by the occupying forces, Akel said in a statement.
The party spokesman added that the only way to stop Turkey and rid Cyprus of occupation and division is to solve the Cyprus problem.
This is what Nicos Anastasiades should have been focusing on, putting forward convincing and decisive initiatives to resume negotiations from where they left off in Crans-Montana in 2017, the party stressed.
DIKO supported the decision, which, according to it, was one of the most important proposals made by the party in 2017 as part of the New Strategy of its chairman, Nicholas Papadopoulos.
Causing political and diplomatic costs to the Turkish side in such a way that the absence of a solution means continuous exhaustion is of paramount importance as a tactic of pressure to change Turkey's unacceptable position, the party said.
The far right ELAM said the government should go further, starting by closing border crossings between the two communities. However, the party welcomed this decision, stating that it was its position from the very beginning. Finally, EDEK and DIPA also supported the initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers.