The European Parliament has called on the government of Turkey to return the Turkish occupied Famagusta fenced-off section to its lawful inhabitants, noting that they must resettle under conditions of security and peace.
In a declaration on the 14 February 2012 on the return of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, the European Parliament notes that the city of Famagusta in the Republic of Cyprus was captured by the invading Turkish forces in August 1974.
It adds that a section of Famagusta was then sealed off and remains uninhabited, under the direct control of the Turkish military.
The EP points out that the return of the Famagusta sealed-off section to its lawful inhabitants would facilitate efforts toward a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Moreover, it notes the 1979 High Level Agreement and UNSC Resolutions 550(1984) and 789(1992) as well as the 2008 Report of the Committee on Petitions on Petition 733/2004.
As a result, in its declaration, the EP “calls on the Government of Turkey to act according to the aforementioned UNSC Resolutions and Report Recommendations and return the Famagusta sealed-off section to its lawful inhabitants, who must resettle under conditions of security and peace“.
It also “urges the EU institutions to coordinate their efforts with Parliament to promote Turkey’s cooperation“.
Concluding, it “instructs its President to forward this declaration, with the names of the signatories, to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States, the UN Secretary General and the Government of Turkey“.
The European Parliament recalls its 1993 resolution on Cyprus, its 2009 resolution on Turkey’s progress report and Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure.
The Republic of Cyprus, which became a full EU member state in May 2004, is divided since the Turkish invasion in 1974. Cyprus will assume the six monthly rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July 2012.
Turkey occupied 37% of the sovereign territory of the Republic and forcibly expelled about 180.000 Greek Cypriots from their homes. Another 20.000 Greek Cypriots, who remained in the occupied areas, were also forced to eventually abandon their homes and seek refuge in the safety of the government controlled areas.
As a result of the invasion, 1619 Greek-Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield.
The city of Famagusta in the Republic of Cyprus was captured by the invading Turkish forces in August 1974. That section of Famagusta was then sealed off and remains uninhabited, under the direct control of the Turkish military.
The Republic of Cyprus has since 1974 declared the ports in the occupied areas as closed since it can not exercise its full control over them.
The fenced-off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta – called Varosha- was abandoned by its lawful inhabitants, during the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Varosha remains since 1974 a sealed area, a ghost town, since the Turkish army does not allow visitors or the lawful inhabitants of the area to visit it.
In July 2010, the Cypriot President proposed the return of the fenced-off area of Varosha, in Famagusta, to the administration of the United Nations, combined with the opening of the port of Famagusta under EU auspices for use by the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots alike and the restoration of the medieval part of the town of Famagusta. The Turkish side has rejected the proposal.
UNSC resolution 550, adopted in 1984, calls upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus and considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations.