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Apartheid rules in the north

Access to a beach near the fenced-off town of Varosha is open only to Turkish nationals and Turkish Cypriots showing identification.

Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen reported that Greek Cypriots and foreign nationals are not allowed access to Dherynia beach.

The beach will remain open until 29 September between 8am and 10pm.

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Under a “protocol” signed by the Turkish Military with the Famagusta council the beach will open annually from May to October.

The fenced-off area of Varosha is a military zone controlled exclusively by the Turkish military.

The bi-communal group #UniteCyprusNow, which backed reunifying the island, sharply criticised the move as divisive, as Turkey stepped up provocations following the collapse of unity negotiations at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana in July.

“The recent opening of a beach in Dherynia to just Turkish Cypriots and Turkish citizens is ethnic separation and a violation of human rights and freedoms,” the group said in an announcement.

“The practice where access to a beach is permitted by the presentation of identity papers is an anachronistic and shameful policy of apartheid and cannot, under any circumstances, be justified,” the Unite Cyprus group said.

The group called on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to abolish “this shameful discrimination policy” immediately.

“International law provides equal dignity and value to human beings and the right to equality and non-discrimination for all, regardless of nationality,” said the group.

Turkish Cypriot media have also been denied access to the beach.

No response

There is a general silence about the issue in the north and in the south the government has made no public statement.

Apart from a few politicians, nobody has come out to criticise the move.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci hasn’t said anything. Opposition Republican Turkish Party CTP deputy Asim Akansoy wrote on social media: “We should know that breaking away from the solution process means breaking away from the world…

“On the surface, this is an intervention into the closed-off city of Varosha – in other words the closed-off city has been partially opened. A serious intention lies beneath this small but supposedly kind step.”

Akansoy said the aim is to take steps that would “destroy the grounds of a solution and make sure that, if, one day, there is a return to the table, there is nothing left to give”.


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One comment

  1. Does not anybody have a small connections with a British tabloid newspaper who would blow this out across the UK and internationally very quicky.