During his one-day visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Murat Kurum, visited Closed-down Maras (Varosha), which was closed for 46 years, while a certain part of the same was opened to the public access on 8 October. Minister Kurum said, "We came together today to revive and build Maras region, which is one of the most important tourism areas in history.
During his visit, Minister Kurum was accompanied by the TRNC Tourism and Environment Minister Kutlu Evren, Turkey's Ambassador to Nicosia Ali Murat Başçer, Gazimağusa (Famagusta) Mayor Ismail Arter, Mayor of Konya Ugur Ibrahim Altay, Mass Housing Administration (TOKI) President Ömer Bulut, along with the delegation team.
Minister Kurum, making examinations and obtaining information from the authorities during his visit, made certain statements afterwards.
Minister Kurum also noted: "Today, we are in the Closed-down Maras (Varosha) region, which has been closed for 46 years and has now gained its freedom, where the Turkish Cypriot people have removed their shackles and which we will now open to the whole world. I express my endless gratitude to out President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan providing ultimate contribution into opening this area for public access, and also to President of TRNC Ersin Tatar."
"We are united as ONE with TRNC"
Stating that “We act in unision with TRNC in terms of political and economic aspects, we are united as one. With our infinite spirit of brotherhood, Turkey has always been and will be there for the Turkish Cypriots”, Minister Kurum noted a number of cooperative procedures between TRNC and Republic of Turkey in political and economic areas.
Stating to have examined all the works and procedures for Maras area, which is one of the most important tourism destinations of Mediterranean Region with Minister Evren, Mayot Arter and all other stakeholders, Minister Kurum also noted to have come to a number of cooperation agreements in various areas with TRNC in terms of environment and urbanization, infrastructure, drinking water, sewerage and environmental planning. Mr. Kurum also stated:
"Today, we gathered together to not only revive but also build Maras area, which is one of the most important tourism areas in the history. President Tatar visited our country right after his election. Hopefully, our President will pay a return visit on 15 November. Within the framework of this visit, they announced the good news on coming to the Maras area and gathering together with our citizens here. Before the visit, we examined the works and procedures to be carried out on the revival of the Maraş area on site. In fact, we are struggling to open these lands for the use of the people of Cyprus and the whole world., which were owned by a foundation from the Ottoman Empire, yet later transferred to private ownership and seized. We, as Turkey, stand for the rightful struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people."
" We will rejuvenate Maras in line with its original form"
Minister Kurum stated that they will also carry out the works on landscaping and infrastructures in Maraş within the body of Konya Metropolitan Municipality and TOKİ Directorate, within a switfly manner and in accordance with its original form, while also noting the following:
"We will have landscape arrangements and we will ensure that our citizens who come here can travel safely and securely by planting our trees. By building hiking and cycling routes, we will ensure that our TRNC people and tourists can travel safely in this area."