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Ankara slams EU foreign policy chief comments on Cyprus "null and void"

The statement made by Josep Borrell -- the EU foreign policy chief -- on the Turkish president's visit to TRNC is fresh proof of the bloc's disconnect from the truth on the Cyprus issue, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published July 21,2021
Turkey on Tuesday dismissed statements from the EU's foreign policy chief on Cyprus as "null and void" and said Brussels had no role to play in settling the decades-old dispute.

In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç cited Josep Borrell's remarks on the visit by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the TRNC.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that criticism of Turkey from the EU's Josep Borrell showed he was "acting as spokesperson or advocate for the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece who abuse their right to veto within the EU".

Earlier in the day, Borrell criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's statements on reopening the Cypriot ghost town of Varosha made during a controversial visit to the divided Mediterranean island and warned against "unilateral actions in breach of international law and renewed provocations".

Erdoğan vowed that "life will restart in Varosha" as he took an uncompromising stance during a visit to mark 47 the anniversary of Turkey's Peace Operation.

The Turkish foreign ministry said Borrell's statement was "another proof of how much the EU is disconnected from the realities on the Cyprus issue."

Bilgiç went on to say that it is not possible for the EU to play any positive role in the resolution of the Cyprus issue with this attitude.

Emphasizing that the TRNC has Turkey's full support for its decisions regarding the town of Maras, he said these decisions aim to protect the rights of property owners in the town, as Erdoğan has stated that the decisions will not create new grievances but will eliminate old ones.

Bilgiç also called on the EU to see the realities in Cyprus and to end the policy of ignoring the Turkish Cypriots and their rights.

Touching further on Maras, which was partially reopened to the public in 2020 after 47 years, Tatar stressed that this decision was an "extremely important initiative" that will enable the return of former residents and the rightful holders of properties, who have not been able to go to their properties for years.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The TRNC was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN plan to end the decades-long dispute.