Akinci brushes off Varosha talk as election gimmick


Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has suggested that Varosha, a southern suburb of Famagusta that has been fenced off and abandoned since Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, is being used as an election gimmick, adding that he supports UN-backed efforts to reopen the ghost town.

Referring to a meeting that took place in the abandoned town on Saturday, Akinci Wednesday that, “a meeting was organized with everyone except Akinci… Things are said two months before an election. There is no one who doesn’t know what that meeting meant.”

In comments made after touring the area Saturday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said it was time to open Varosha despite failure to reach a peace settlement. He said the move would benefit tourism, commerce and the economy.

“My opinion is that it would be good to open Varosha under the supervision of the UN,” Akinci said Wednesday.