Front Page Headlines
Two different earnings
Same job different salary: The deep gap between purchasing power. The earnings of two Turkish Cypriots doing the same job, one in the north, the other in the south, reveals the true extent of the economic collapse in the north. While the Turkish Lira continues to lose value against foreign currencies, Yenidüzen researched the wages earned and purchasing power of two construction workers doing the same job in the north and the south. While one Turkish Cypriot worker earns ₺800 (€70) in the south, the other working in the north earns ₺200 (€17). The worker in the south works for five days a week while the worker in the north works for six sometimes seven days a week.
Local budget deficit exceeds ₺2bn (€171m)
The budget planning and finance parliamentary subcommittee started to discuss the 2022 budget of ₺12.7bn (€1.1bn) after it was approved by the Council of Ministers. The subcommittee approved the budgets for various institutions and ministries.
- Positive developments in Hellim (Halloumi) – Head of Turkish Cypriot livestock breeders’ association Mustafa Naimoğulları said the EU will give €40m support for livestock breeders to increase milk output and the Hellim (Halloumi) production in the north will be inspected by the Turkish branch of Bureau Veritas.
- The proposal to revoke split voting not accepted – The ad-hoc committee convened yesterday to discuss the proposal to revoke split voting however there was no consensus on the issue.
Worse than fire
The Turkish Lira plummeted to a historic low before the British Pound Sterling, Euro and the US Dollar. While the devaluation of the Turkish Lira continues, the people can only watch helplessly.
- The citizenship issue is back at the courts – Turkish Cypriot Bar Association, Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association (KTTB) and the Union of the Chamber of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects (KTMMOB) filed a lawsuit against the council of ministers for granting ‘exceptional citizenship’ to the Turkish architect responsible for drawing the plans for the new Turkish Cypriot presidential complex.
- Continuing with split voting – There was no consensus during the ad-hoc committee meeting convened to discuss scrapping split voting.
The situation is bad
It’s been reported that the TRNC’s domestic and foreign debts have exceeded ₺47bn (€4bn). Finance Minister Dursun Oğuz in a statement made yesterday said that the domestic debt as of June 2021 had reached ₺12.2bn (€1.03bn) and foreign debt ₺34.8bn (€2.9bn). Oğuz said that the priority should be to bring under control and reduce the burden of the debts. He however pointed out that this will be unlikely as expected revenues in 2022 will be lower than expected expenditures.
Do you realise we are going mad?
The office of the presidency issued a statement on the arrest of an individual who made the victory sign. The presidency said (the suspect’s behaviour) was seen as “inappropriate and provocative.” The statement added that the police intervened stopping the individual during the parade when Ersin Tatar and Turkish Cypriot Security Forces (GKK) Commander Zorlu Topaloğlu saluted the crowds.
- No agreement on split voting – There was no consensus at the ad-hoc committee convened to discuss revoking split voting.
Akar: “We are determined to protect TCs’ rights in East Med”Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Energy, External Security
Turkish Minister for National Defence Hulusi Akar on Tuesday said that a two-state solution based on sovereign equality was the only feasible solution in Cyprus. Evaluating the latest developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean during his presentation of his ministry’s 2022 budget at the Budget and Planning subcommittee of the Turkish parliament, Akar said, “It has become clear that it is not possible to proceed with the negotiations until the Turkish Cypriot people’s sovereign equality and equal international status is accepted.
He added that it was not possible to obtain a different result by repeating the same methodology used for decades in the negotiations processes. Reiterating that Cyprus is regarded as a “national cause” for Turkey, Akar said Ankara in line with the Guarantee and Alliance Agreements will always support the Turkish Cypriot people.
“We are determined and capable of protecting our rights and those of the Turkish Cypriots both in the Aegean and in the Eastern Mediterranean” Akar concluded.
>> A two-state solution based on sovereign equality is the only feasible option in Cyprus.
>> Talks cannot proceed until TCs’ sovereign equality & equal international status is accepted.
>> Not possible to achieve a different result with the same methodology.
>> Turkey determined & capable of protecting its & TCs’ rights in the East Med.
KTÖS calls on schools to participate in the “Imagine” projectYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) on Tuesday, urged all the schools in the north to take part in the bicommunal education project “Imagine.”
In a statement issued, KTÖS said not only is “Imagine” a multifaceted education project, but it also creates an important opportunity to bring the two communities closer especially with the “Anti-racism and Peace Culture Education” program, launched in October 2017 with the agreement of the two community leaders at the time.
Sharing statistics from 2020, KTÖS pointed out that 5,091 students and 582 teachers had taken part in the training the previous year. The trade union added that 340 teachers had taken part in mono-communal and bicommunal Peace Culture Education training and 92 school principals took part in conferences organized by the project.
Expressing belief that the project will contribute to developing confidence-building measures (CBMs) between the two communities, KTÖS said the Imagine project entails concepts such as fighting against discrimination; developing the ability for critical thinking; awareness of disadvantaged groups, equality and tolerance, racism, discrimination, and xenophobia.
In the meantime, the European Commission office in Cyprus announced that Turkish Cypriots will be given scholarships to study at the College of Europe.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, it stated that three scholarships will be given to exceptional Turkish Cypriot individuals to study at the College of Europe during the academic year 2022-2023. Scholars will have the opportunity to complete a one-year Master program in one of six academic fields in the medieval town of Bruges in Belgium.
Tatar refuses to give up position in favour of a two-state solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday reiterated his position in favour of a two-state solution model in Cyprus.
During a meeting with the “Turkish Parliament-TRNC parliamentary friendship group,” who were in the north to attend the 38th anniversary celebrations, Tatar repeated his earlier remarks that the state they declared in 1983 had crowned their independence and sovereignty, adding they are now able to look to the future with hope.
Tatar recalled that following his election into office, he has come up with a new vision for a solution, which is fully supported by Ankara.
“The only acceptable solution on the island is the one based on the sovereign equality of the two sides,” Tatar said, noting that this is the most feasible model as there are two peoples, two states and two democratic structures on the island currently.
Tatar also noted that the efforts to reach a federal settlement ended in Crans Montana in 2017 when the Greek Cypriot side refused to accept Turkish Cypriots’ political equality. He also reiterated his arguments against the federal model.
Touching on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar underlined that the Turkish Cypriots will not give up on their rights or interests in the natural resources. Tatar vowed that the Turkish Cypriot side’s new policy for a settlement in Cyprus will continue with determination with Ankara’s support.
Three NGOs prepare a draft bill on citizenship
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Migration & Citizenship
Three Turkish Cypriot non-governmental organisations (NGOs) announced on Tuesday that they were working on a draft bill on citizenship to be submitted to the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
In a joint statement issued, the Turkish Cypriot Bar Association (KTBB), Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association (KTTB) and the Union of the Chamber of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects (KTMMOB) said the goal of their effort in preparing the new bill was to strip the Council of Ministers of the right to grant “exceptional citizenship” to individuals while preserving real legal criteria in the existing law.
The NGOs also argued that the cabinet’s decision to grant ‘TRNC’ citizenship to the Turkish architect contracted to design the new complex for the Turkish Cypriot presidency, also threatens the livelihood of the Turkish Cypriot professionals in the relevant sectors as the primary requirement is being a ‘TRNC’ citizen.
The NGOs had filed a lawsuit on Friday, November 13, to revoke the ‘TRNC’ citizenship granted to the Turkish architect at the Supreme Administrative Court.
Caught while trying to cross to South Cyprus
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
An individual was arrested on Monday while attempting to cross over to the south through the Lokmacı (Ledra St.) crossing point after it emerged that he did not have any record of entering the north.
The police officer in charge of the investigation informed the court on Tuesday, that the officer on duty at the crossing point who ran through the suspect’s immigration details, discovered he did not have any record of entering the north.
The court ordered the suspect to be remanded for three days until the police conclude their investigation on how the suspect arrived in the north.
Positive developments in Hellim (Halloumi)
EU Matters, Economy
Mustafa Naimoğulları, head of the Turkish Cypriot livestock breeders’ association announced on Tuesday that the EU will give €40m support for livestock breeders to increase milk output while Hellim (Halloumi) production in the north will be inspected by the Turkish branch of Bureau Veritas.
Speaking to Kıbrıs on the developments, Naimoğulları added that the officials from the Turkish office of Bureau Veritas will come to the north at the end of November to carry out meetings with the sector representatives, from Hellim (Halloumi) producers to livestock breeders, and authorities in the north.
He noted that the EU support of €40m will be provided over four years, with €10m given to livestock breeders each year.
The economic gap between north & south widens
Yenidüzen on Wednesday revealed the difference in salaries and purchasing power between the north and south in an investigative story about two Turkish Cypriots, one working in the north, the other in the south, doing the same job in the construction sector.
The paper revealed that the Turkish Cypriot working in the south earns ₺800 (€70) per day. He works five days a week while the other, who works in the north earns ₺200 (€17) per day doing the same job. However, he works a six or seven-day week. The daily published a comparison of the goods the two could purchase with their wages which revealed the shocking difference in purchasing power.
Derviş Bilge who works in the south said, “My daily wage is €70, and I usually do my shopping in the north. Both in terms of job security and labour rights, working in the south is better”. Ziver Bayhan who works in the north said, “I earn on average ₺200 (€17) a day and I try to feed my family of seven with this money. We are finding it impossible to even buy bread at times.”
Bilge says that employers in the south are also very sensitive about labour laws and job security. He added that inspectors from the labour department frequently stop by construction sites to inspect workers and conditions.
Bilge said that he had worked in the north for a short period before finding work in the south. “I can clearly tell you that many of the workers in the north are unregistered and often we would see greedy bosses coming and ordering workers to do new jobs 20 minutes before quitting time. There is exploitation in the north and many times we were forced to work on the weekends. The state allows employers to exploit the situation,” he added.
Bayhan gave a sadder account of what goes on in the north, stating that recently he has been forced to work seven days a week to put food on the table for his family. He complained that the state does not inspect employers and whether they pay contributions to the state for the social security of workers.