Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit on Sunday, “Northern Cyprus”, which is under the control of Turkey, where he is expected to participate in a ceremony, and he will also visit a symbolic site that reopened recently in the east of the divided Cypriot island.
Erdogan’s visit comes nearly a month after conservative Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, backed by Erdogan, elected a new president.
Tatars support a two-state solution for the divided island.
Erdogan hailed the election of Tatars as the beginning of a “new era” in Cyprus.
Last week, Erdogan said that his visit to Cyprus comes to confirm solidarity with the “motherland”.
Erdogan will attend a ceremony to celebrate the unilateral declaration of the establishment of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in 1983.
Erdogan said last week that he would go on a “picnic” to the Turkish-controlled Varosha town of Famagusta.
Yesterday, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades condemned Erdogan’s visit, describing it as an “unprecedented provocation”.
The coastal town of Varosha was partially reopened recently after being deserted for 46 years, despite international criticism.
A Greek coup, followed by a Turkish military intervention in 1974, resulted in the division of the Cypriot island into a southern Greek, internationally recognized member of the European Union, and a northern Turkish, recognized by Turkey only.
Famagusta has remained a symbol of division ever since.
Varosha’s symbolic reopening comes amid ongoing tensions between Turkey and Greece over drilling for natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean.