The General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Wednesday criticized the Greek Cypriot DISY leader Averof Neofytou’s recent visit to Maraş and the statements he made.
Hasipoğlu however pointed out that the visit was an important first step for a Greek Cypriot politician to witness the start of the revival of the fenced-off town.
Evaluating, Neofytou’s visit to Maraş, the UBP General Secretary Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said the DISY leader’s visit was an important start for a Greek Cypriot politician to witness the revival of the ghost city of Maraş which had remained closed for over four decades because of the Greek Cypriot side’s stalling tactics at the negotiating table under the pretext of achieving a federal settlement.
Noting that over 500,000 people have visited Maraş since it was first opened to visitors in October 2020; he reminded that the public spaces and the beaches were full of people.
“Those who claim they left behind property in Maraş are continuing to claim their rights by applying to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). Electricity, sewage, roads and all infrastructure was being renovated with the important contributions of Türkiye,” Hasipoğlu added.
Stating that the area which is part of the TRNC’s territory was being prepared to serve for the benefit of the whole island, he noted that it was not possible to restore the town which had been closed for 46 years to its previous state in just a year.
“It is not the Turkish Cypriot side’s fault for Maraş remaining closed for such a long time,” Hasipoğlu stressed.
Stating that the Greek Cypriot politicians owed an apology to their citizens regarding Maraş, the UBP General Secretary said “at this point, instead of electing an imaginary mayor to the town, they should cooperate with us, stop preventing people from applying to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and start negotiations with the TRNC state on the basis of sovereign equality.”