Survey shows that occupied Famagusta’s inhabitants want return of Varosha to its legal owners and opening of the Famagusta port
Under the title “Varosha must be returned to is legal owners”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.08.13) reports that the Initiative for Famagusta announced yesterday the results of a survey according to which 73% of the inhabitants of occupied Famagusta expressed their support to the opening of Varosha and Famagusta port for international trade the soonest and the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha’s to its legal owners.

Representatives of the initiative held yesterday a press conference at the Home for Cooperation in the buffer zone in Nicosia and announced the results of the survey regarding Varosha and the port of Famagusta.

Speaking on behalf of the Initiative, Okan Dagli said that the majority of the participants in the survey expressed the view that the “proposal as regards Varosha and the ports” would positively influence the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that this result refutes the position that “the opening of Varosha would decrease the belief in a solution”.

Dagli recalled that the Initiative for Famagusta was established three years ago in the area of Famagusta, taking into consideration the non-solution in Cyprus and having the aim of producing a “Peace Project”. He said that it would be impossible to produce a solution to the problem in a process during which the communities do not participate, cannot cooperate in various fields and cannot hold contacts. Dagli noted that the area of Famagusta could potentially contribute in inter-communal cooperation and approach in the economic, social and cultural fields.

Dagli argued that the people living in Famagusta’s north and south wish a solution more than the people living in other areas and expressed the view that this is shown by the results of the referendum [in 2004] and the bi-communal activities.
Noting that the demilitarization of occupied fenced Varosha and its return to its legal owners under UN administration would pave the way for economic, social and cultural cooperation, Dagli said that this cooperation could play the role of catalyzer in the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Dagli went on and argued: “We find deficient and insufficient the statements by the Greek Cypriot leadership that says ‘make a gesture by returning Varosha to us’ or by the Turkish Cypriot leadership that says ‘Varosha is a part of the comprehensive solution’. Both Famagusta port and Varosha have potentials that could pave the way for cooperation and economic development of the two communities without waiting for a solution…”

Dagli said that the survey was conducted between 31 July and 5 August 2013 by “Kibrisim Call Centre” under the coordination of Muharrem Amcazade among people living in Famagusta area. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews with the participation of 403 persons older than 18.

According to the paper, 73% of the participants in the survey said that the port of Famagusta and Varosha must open for international trade and the settlement of its legal owners the soonest. Only 4% of the participants said they definitely oppose to this development.

When asked to express their position on the view that “if a solution to the Cyprus problem is not found, the port of Famagusta and Varosha should remain in their current situation”, 50% said they do not agree with this view, 3% said they definitely agree and 37 % said they agree.

Asked what they expected from the opening of Varosha and Famagusta port to international trade, 4% said that this will cause deterioration of their economic problems and unemployment, 2% said that it will have no influence, and 90% said the situation as regards the economic problems and unemployment in the area will be improved.
Asked about the influence of the opening of the port of Famagusta and Varosha for international trade on the relations between the two communities, 59.3% of the participants in the survey said that it will have positive influence, 23% argued that it will have negative influence and 13% expressed the view that it will have no influence.

Asked about the influence of the same development on the Cyprus problem, 58% of the participants in the survey said that this will have positive influence on the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, 15% noted that this will have negative influence and 11% said that it will have no influence.

CNA

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