After all, Erdogan was not joking. The prevailing scenario for Famagusta was verified yesterday, with the Turkish President announcing that an area of the enclosed city, 3.5% of the total area, ceases to be a military area “by decision of the Council of Ministers of the TRNC” and thus passes to Jurisdiction of the Compensation Committee.
The displaced Greek Cypriots of this point, in Agios Nikolaos / Agia Zoni can now apply for return, compensation or even exchange with Turkish Cypriot property in the South.
As for the expectations that had been created in many due to the mild tones, mild under the circumstances and the style of Erdogan himself on the first day of his trip, these were refuted, though not completely. And this is interesting for the sequel.
The Turkish President “opened” Famagusta. As we had revealed then, the neighborhood that will be opened will practically unite the settled part of Famagusta with the place where the key mosque is located in order to maintain the claims raised by the Turkish side in the enclosed city through the well-known unsupported and rejected by the ECtHR claims of EVKAF. This is a very small part of Famagusta, which opens in violation of the UN resolutions, of course, which clearly state that the city is to be returned to its inhabitants and not the inhabitants simply to return there. The size of the region should not be misled as, although small, it is a pilot for the reactions of the international community, which are predicted to be lukewarm, and if they are, they will ultimately help Ankara to continue the “successful” pilot project.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the development in Famagusta is extremely serious and negative, but Tayyip Erdogan showed that he does not want to break with the US, which was behind the scenes pressuring Ankara to avoid newly completed. Yesterday, the State Department described the announcement about Varosi as “provocative and counterproductive”, sending a message to Ankara.
The result of these pressures, as well as Ankara's tactics for the most controlled challenges possible, is the fact that Ankara has avoided moves in other critical points, such as the issue of the drone base and the naval base. announcements on the EEZ, as well as announcements on the issue of the recognition of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” by Azerbaijan or other Ankara allies – although Erdogan, when asked about the latter, said that he should is considered certain. But he stayed there. Of course, he did not ignore the attack on Greece and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking almost deliriously about “enemies of Turkey”, who are dragged behind the prime minister of the country, as he said.
If one looks at what Erdogan threatened to do before his trip to Cyprus and what he did in the end, the divergence is significant and should not go unnoticed, nor, of course, should it create false hopes for the future. It is certain that Ankara did not give up all the ambitions it did not put publicly on Erdogan's trip, and it is clear that everything is still potentially negotiating papers and levers that Turkey can activate at any time and which it probably had no reason to “burn”. Now, worsening its relations especially with Washington.
This of course is a completely separate issue from Famagusta. About 3.5% of the city, which ceases to be a military zone, will fall under the jurisdiction of the “authorities” of the “TRNC”, as “Prime Minister” Ersan Sener said. Greek Cypriot owners of land and buildings will be invited to apply to the Turkish Cypriot Compensation Commission, which is recognized as a Turkish remedy by the European Court of Human Rights. This means that in order to apply to the ECtHR, one must first apply there. If he does not, he loses the right and this is indicative of the dilemma in which these displaced people will find themselves.
Reaction with National Council!
At the same time, Nicosia reacted with statements and a proclamation for the convening of the National Council today. “Certainly, if something similar was announced, it is unacceptable and it is an attempt to alter the status quo of Famagusta as defined by UN resolutions 550 and 789, and our reactions will be similar”, was the comment of Nikos Anastasiadis. Regarding the demand for a two-state solution that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community pose for the continuation of the negotiations on the Cyprus issue, the President said that “it would be easier for me to set the termination of the guarantees before the start of the negotiations, the withdrawal of the occupying troops, the adjustments and what, finally, has been done to the detriment of the Greek Cypriot community “. He continued: “Therefore, it is not who sets what as a prerequisite, it is not only what the Turkish Cypriots will finally get, it is what they are ready to accept based on international law.” Slightly better than the “fireworks” with which the government reacted last year, at such a time, to the announcements that Famagusta will be opened.