In an AP report from Nicosia, there is a public outcry from Cyprus, Greece, Russia, and Germany, because Turkey has re-opened the beachfront area of the abandoned Varosha resort on the northern third of Cyprus. Occupied by Turkey since a 1974 invasion, the region is the subject of United Nations resolutions stemming from conflict.
The recent uproar came in the wake of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stepping back demands for European Union sanctions over Turkey drilling in Cypriot waters and those off some Greek islands.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already withdrawn a controversial energy research vessel and warships near the Greek island of Kastellorizo to pave the way for talks in Ankara – not Athens – with Greek officials over boundaries in the Aegean and East Mediterranean.
Erdogan has assured the world that Turkey will never back down, no matter what the outcome of deliberations is. Now the EU, after Anastasiades and Mitsotakis relented on demands for penalties, stopped sanctions at the end of the year so talks can proceed, the Turkish side is seen in this most recent provocation.
The opening of Varosha Beach may upset the delicate political balance now. Many fear the talks may be spoiled, and the resumption of reunification talks for the island may once again fail. Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci now say a 35,000-strong army on the occupied side would never be removed and as they wanted the right of military intervention.