Turkish Cypriots plan Vegas of Med
Published 20/07/2010 | 05:00
Northern Cyprus has announced ambitious plans to become the Las Vegas of the Mediterranean.
The Turkish enclave is proposing a series of glamorous resorts and shopping arcades in a move that could strain relations with the south.
Details were revealed by a new hard-line leadership in the north as it prepared to mark the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion today.
The centrepiece of events to mark Peace and Freedom Day will be the opening of a €176m hotel and casino complex in Kyrenia by President Dervis Eroglu.
The Cratos Premium resort caused controversy after booking Jennifer Lopez to perform at the opening. The singer was forced to pull out after receiving thousands of emails from Greek Cypriot exiles criticising her for violating a UN embargo.
The investment has outraged Greek Cypriots, who view any development in the north as a blow to attempts to isolate the enclave, which is only recognised by Turkey.
In 1974, the Turkish army drove all Greeks from the northern half of the island in a sudden strike precipitated by pogroms against the local Turks.
Mr Eroglu (72), has disavowed his predecessors' enthusiasm for reunification since being elected in April.
He has continued face-to-face meetings with President Dimitris Christofias, the Greek Cypriot leader, but warned that time was running out.
"Negotiations have been continuing for many years and should come to an end naturally," he said. (© Daily Telegraph London)