The UN Security Council’s press release on an abandoned town in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) -- empty for decades -- is an abuse of mandate, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
Stressing that Turkey supports the TRNC’s statement on Maras -- or Varosha in Greek -- also released on Thursday, the ministry said in a statement: "As there is no threat to international peace and security in Maras, we consider the Council’s consultations, requested unnecessarily by the Greek Cypriot side, as well as the press statement released thereafter, as an abuse of the mandate of the UN Security Council".
After a request by the Greek Cypriot administration, the UN Security Council recently held consultations on the long-abandoned town and published a press release on Wednesday accusing Turkey of abusing its mandate on the issue.
The TRNC also released a statement on Thursday, saying: "The work coordinated by our Ministry in line with the decision of our Government will continue decisively in line with international law, taking into consideration the rights of former inhabitants of the closed area of Maras".
"While the closed area of Maras has remained abandoned to its fate for the past 45 years, due to the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot leadership, with this decision, a step has been taken to bring it back to life," added the statement.
Underlining that "due to its fear of losing its propaganda tools," the Greek Cypriot administration takes initiatives that harmed its own people, including former residents of Maras.
Abandoned after passage of a 1984 UN Security Council resolution, Maras’s reopening was announced by Turkish Cypriot authorities on June 18.
Historical and archival research backed by Turkey found that most of the land in Maras belongs to Turkish foundations.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure.
The latest, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.
By Havva Kara Aydin