With the leaders of Turkish and Greek Cyprus scheduled to meet Friday, the foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said yesterday he does not expect any step toward a comprehensive solution.
"There will be a meeting, where some issues on trust-building will be discussed, but there will be no progress toward a comprehensive solution," TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay told Anadolu Agency (AA).
"The TRNC administration is in favor of taking some steps. Some steps have been taken regarding the future of the Maraş region. Greek Cypriot should not be included in this region, but they would probably demand their inclusion," said Özersay, while referring to Greek Cypriot's obstructive role on the Maraş (Varosha in Greek) issue.
He said that the region can be turned into a civilian area from a military zone.
Earlier Sunday, Özersay said, "It is out of the question to include Greek Cypriots in the Maraş process."
On June 18, the TRNC decided after 45 years to open the ghost town of Maraş near Famagusta (Gazimağosa) for settlement amid heightened tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.
What was once a paradise of luxury cars, hotels, villas, superb beaches and a destination for the rich and famous has turned into a desolated place since 1974 when the Turkish military forces intervened following a Greek-inspired coup.
The coup followed decade-long interethnic violence and terrorism targeting Turkish Cypriots, who were forced to live in enclaves when Greek Cypriots unilaterally changed the constitution in 1963 and stripped the island's Turks of their political rights. The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure.
Maraş is located on the "Green Line," which is the present-day border between the two communities and was closed
for settlement subsequent to a U.N. decision in 1974. The city is protected by a 1984 U.N. Security Council resolution, stating that the empty town can only be resettled by its original inhabitants.