Security Council’s Urging for a Quick U-Turn on Varosha Move by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots

The Security Council said in a statement released on Friday that settling any part of the abandoned Cypriot suburb of Varosha, “by people other than its inhabitants, is “inadmissible”. 

The presidential statement approved by all 15 Security Council members, upheld that “no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha, that are not in accordance with its resolutions”. 

“The Security Council condemns the announcement in Cyprus by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on 20 July 2021 on the further reopening of part of the fenced-off area of Varosha”, the statement continued. 

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‘Deep regret’ 

“The Security Council expresses its deep regret regarding these unilateral actions that run contrary to its previous resolutions and statements.” 

The statement calls for “the immediate reversal of this course of action and the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020.” 

The statement followed a closed-door briefing earlier in the day by the outgoing UN Special Representative, Elizabeth Spehar. 

The Mediterranean island has been divided between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities for 47 years, and a Security Council resolution of 1964 recommended the establishment of a peacekeeping force to maintain law and order and help end inter-communal strife.  

According to news reports, on Wednesday, Greek Cypriot leaders appealed to the Council over plans by Turkish Cypriot authorities to revert a 1.35 square-mile section of Varosha, from military to civilian control, and open it for potential resettlement. 

The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is backed by Turkey, made the initial announcement a day earlier, that part of the suburb would come under civilian control.  

Guterres statement 

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his deep concern over Wednesday’s announcements by Turkey and Turkish-Cypriot leaders, on re-opening Varosha, and said that the UN’s position “remains unchanged and is guided by the relevant Security Council resolutions”.  

In a statement issued by his Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, Mr. Guterres called on all sides “to refrain from any unhelpful actions and to engage in dialogue to bring peace and prosperity to the island through a comprehensive settlement”. 

“The Secretary-General has repeatedly called on all parties to refrain from unilateral actions that provoke tensions and may compromise the ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties towards a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue”. 

‘Just settlement’ 

The Security Council statement concluded with a reaffirmation of its commitment “to an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement, in accordance with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality”. 



  1. The Security Council strongly emphasizes the need for a prompt reversal of the decision made by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots regarding Varosha. It is unacceptable for any actions to be taken in relation to Varosha that go against the Security Council’s resolutions. The Council condemns the recent announcements and calls for an immediate reversal of these unilateral actions. The Security Council’s position reflects deep regret over the disregard for past resolutions and urges a complete reversal of all steps taken in Varosha since October 2020.

  2. Could someone clarify why the Security Council’s statement specifically mentions Varosha being settled by people other than its inhabitants as “inadmissible”? What are the implications of this for Turkey and Turkish Cypriots?

    1. The Security Council’s statement deems settling any part of Varosha by individuals other than its residents as “inadmissible” due to the importance of respecting the rights and sovereignty of the local inhabitants. This implies that any unauthorized actions regarding Varosha go against established resolutions and contribute to further tensions in the region, impacting both Turkey and Turkish Cypriots negatively.

  3. As an advocate for international law and diplomacy, I strongly believe that the Security Council’s stance on the Varosha issue is crucial. Any unilateral actions that violate previous resolutions must be condemned. It is imperative for all parties involved to adhere to the Security Council’s decisions and work towards a peaceful resolution in Cyprus.

  4. Could you provide more details on the potential consequences of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots continuing development in Varosha despite the Security Council’s statement?

    1. Of course, LauraSmith123. The Security Council’s strong condemnation and call for the immediate reversal of actions in Varosha indicate the seriousness of the situation. Failure to comply could lead to heightened tensions in the region and further international scrutiny on Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. It’s crucial for all parties to respect international law and work towards a peaceful resolution in Cyprus.

  5. “I strongly believe that the Security Council’s position on Varosha is justified. The actions taken by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders regarding the reopening of Varosha go against previous resolutions and should be reversed immediately. It’s crucial to respect the Security Council’s decisions for the stability of the region.”

  6. Does the Security Council have a specific timeline for expecting the U-turn on Varosha’s move by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots, or is it open-ended?

  7. Does this mean the Security Council will take any direct actions to stop the settling of Varosha by others? What measures are they considering?

  8. Do the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders plan to comply with the Security Council’s urging for a quick U-turn on the Varosha move?

  9. As an avid supporter of international law and diplomacy, I strongly believe that the Security Council’s stance highlights the importance of respecting resolutions and existing agreements, especially in sensitive geopolitical situations like the Varosha move by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. The call for an immediate reversal of actions is necessary to maintain stability and uphold peace in the region.

  10. As an international relations enthusiast, I strongly believe that the Security Council’s stance on the Varosha situation is crucial for maintaining peace and stability in the region. It is essential that all parties involved adhere to the Council’s resolutions to avoid escalating tensions further.

  11. I find it alarming that the Security Council had to explicitly condemn the move by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Varosha. It is crucial to respect the resolutions in place for the betterment of both communities involved. Let’s hope for a quick resolution and a peaceful outcome for Varosha.

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