Erdoğan, Tatar announce plans to reopen part of deserted Cypriot town

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday announced plans to reopen part of the city of Famagusta in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.

Tatar said authorities plan to lift the military status for part of the area, adding that 3.5 percent of the city will be granted civilian status.

The announcement was made during a two-day visit by Erdoğan, coinciding with the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus that split the Mediterranean island along ethnic lines.

In his speech, Erdoğan attacked the “enemies of Turkish Cypriots”, including Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“All these will today make speeches about Cyprus. We will listen to them, but we do not care what they say.”

The Turkish president reiterated his call for a “two-state solution” in Cyprus, while slamming the European Union which has rejected the idea. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said in Nicosia earlier this month that the 27 member-bloc which Cyprus joined in 2004 would “never, ever” accept such an arrangement.

“We will not take their advice… We will do what we need to do,” Erdoğan said on Tuesday.

(This story was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)