Anastasiades threatens Tatar, TRNC officials with Cypriot passport cancellation

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasia's has threatened Turkish officials of the ethnically split island, with revoking their Cypriot passports, Yeni Düzen newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Greek Cypriot administration is considering the move as part of a series of sanctions against the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) officials, including Ankara-backed President Ersin Tatar, Yeni Düzen cited Anastasiades as saying.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey intervened after a brief Greek Cypriot coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Turkey justified its intervention by citing its rights to protect Turkish Cypriots, but the island has remained divided between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC, which is only recognised as a state by Turkey.

Anastasadies’ remarks arrives as Turkey last week announced partial reopening of an abandoned town Varosha for potential resettlement, drawing a strong rebuke from Greek Cypriot and international leaders, including Washington.

Those who “do not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, and conduct propaganda for secession and for dividing the country, cannot own a Cypriot passport,’’ the Greek Cypriot leader said.

In late April, representatives from the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC, along with Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, the three guarantor powers of the island, met under the auspices of the United Nations to search for common ground to resume formal negotiations for reunification.

However, the talks led by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres failed after the Turkish Cypriot side, backed by Turkey, called for a two-state solution. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece insisted on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, citing UN resolutions on Cyprus.