Maras had virtually become a ghost town as it remained cut off from the world for some 46 years until it was partially reopened to the public in October 2020.
The number of people who visited Maras reached 500,000 in 600 days. (AA)
More than 500,000 tourists have visited Maras in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) since the coastal region was partially reopened to the public in 2020, according to an official.
Maras had virtually become a ghost town as it remained cut off from the world for some 46 years.
A portion of the region – just about 3.5 percent of the total area – has been reopened since October 2020.
The number of people who visited Maras reached 500,000 in 600 days, Gazimagusa Mayor Ismail Arter told Anadolu News Agency.
Arter expressed wish that the opening of Maras would be beneficial for the Cyprus talks.
Sevgi Isik, the 500,000th visitor, said she visited Maras for the second time.
“I’m glad it’s been opened,” she said.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Türkiye’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.
SOURCE : TRT WORLD