Turkish Cyprus removes Greek signs in Varosha before Erdoğan visit

Turkish Cypriot authorities have removed Greek signs in the fenced-off resort town of Varosha ahead of a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Mediterranean island to mark the 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion on Tuesday.

The signs at a high school in Varosha reading ”Ellinikon Gymnasion”,  or “Greek High School”, have been removed, the Greek Reporter said on Sunday.

Erdoğan will start a two-day visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Monday.

Erdoğan said he plans to make a “big announcement” during his visit and is also expected to open a mosque in Varosha, which is located in the eastern city of Famagusta. The Turkish authorities fenced off Varosha after Cyprus split along ethnic lines following the Turkish invasion in 1974. The self-styled Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) partially re-opened the town to visitors in early October and cleared part of its beach.

Varosha’s re-opening prompted condemnation from Greece, the European Union and the United States as a violation of United Nations resolutions. The U.N. decided that attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its original inhabitants are “inadmissible” and that the town should be put under the control of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).