Ersin Tatar, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), told a Cypriot-Turkish television on Friday that the breakaway state would stand with Turkey in the efforts for territorial rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
“We are determined to defend our joint interests with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean,” daily Sözcü cited Tatar as saying. “There will be no stepping back from the Blue Homeland project. We are determined. Nobody should expect otherwise.”
The Blue Homeland is the official doctrine for Turkey’s claims to territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean, that surpasses the internationally-recognised borders with Greece, Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries.
Turkey’s support to Cypriot Turks for the re-opening of the deserted town of Varosha was “great,” and “left its mark on 2020,” Tatar said. “Right now what we opened was the coastline, it is public-owned and we haven’t touched private property. We can see Varosha as an open area from now on.”
Tatar said opening Varosha wouldn’t necessarily go against the 1994 United Nations resolution, which considers any attempts to settle any part of the fenced-off buffer zone by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible.
The European Parliament in November condemned what MEPs called Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus, including the opening of Varosha and efforts for hydrocarbon exploration in internationally-recognised waters of Cyprus and Greece.