Turkish-Cypriots attempting to annex the “ghost town” of Famagusta

The “parliament” of the illegal government of the occupied northern Cyprus decided to open Famagusta (a.k.a. Ammochostos or Varosi), which has been closed since 1974. The Turkish Cypriots have announced that they will start consultations with Ankara to populate the city with illegal settlers. If the decision is implemented, Famagusta will be officially annexed by the pseudo-state.

The town of Famagusta before the Turkish invasion numbered about 40.000 inhabitants. The third largest city on the island was targeted by the Turks during the second phase of the 1974 invasion. The first phase took place on July 20, 1974, when more than 40.000 Turkish soldiers, with the support of the Turkish aviation and the navy, invaded the northern shores of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Turkish invasion was completed almost a month after, on 14 August 1974, with the invasion of Famagusta. In just two days, the Turks occupied most of the plain of Mesaora, Famagusta, Karpasia and most of Morphou.

The Greek-Cypriot citizens of Famagusta quickly evacuated the city and after its capture by the Turkish troops, it was looted, sealed and to this day any access is forbidden.

The designation “ghost town” was given by the Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengston, who visited the port of Famagusta and, looking out over the sealed city, wrote:

“The asphalt road has filled with cracks and on the sidewalks shrubs have sprouted. Today (September 1977) the tables where breakfast is served are there, the laundry still on the ropes and the electric lamps lit. Varosi is a ghost town”.

The UN Security Council, in two very important resolutions on the Cyprus issue, included explicit provisions on the Famagusta issue, but Turkey -as always- did not comply.

The European Parliament has also expressed its keen interest in Famagusta and has underlined on several occasions the need for Turkey to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council…