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And now an electricity crisis
The time of rotational power cuts. The General Director of KIB-TEK (Turkish Cypriot Electricity) Gürcan Erdoğan said that one-hour rotational power cuts between 6 pm-9 pm will continue for the rest of the week. Long power cuts in some areas outraged the public. One turbine at the Teknecik Power Plant and three at the Kalecik Power Plant is out of service. Demand exceeded production and the period of power cuts grew longer.
Chaos in our lives!
The uncertainty in our country that started with the pandemic process brought along the economic crisis. Just as we’re entering the recovery period, we were then shocked by the skyrocketing values of foreign currencies that resulted in price hikes and high costs. It has become nearly impossible to make the ends meet. The decrease in the value of the foreign currencies has yet to be reflected in the market and people are not able to take a breath of relief yet. In the meantime, the ongoing debate among the state, trade unions and the business representatives on the minimum wage made the people lose hope more.
“CTP is the number one party”
Leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman, answering the questions of Havadis columnists and journalists, said the CTP will receive more than 30 per cent of the votes in the January 23 elections, emerging as the leading party. Erhürman noted that in addition to the crisis caused by the pandemic and the devaluation of the Turkish lira, the country is also faced with a crisis due to lack of administration.
- The one that pulled the trigger fled to the south – Those who fired at Muzaffer Umuç first planned the ambush and after shooting him in the leg headed to the crossing point.
The public is miserable
Cucumbers cost ₺21/per kg (€1.63), Potatoes ₺15/per kg (€1.17), Green Beans ₺29/per kg (€2.26). Despite the comeback of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies, prices at supermarkets have not gone down. All the new prices seem to remain in place and in fact, the price of some goods has gone up. Citizens speaking to Diyalog, “The dollar has gone down as just as we were expecting the prices to go down, the price of cooking oil which was ₺83 (6.54) a week ago has now gone up to ₺120 (9.46).”
- Two giants in the field – The drilling activities being carried out in block 10 by US and Qatari companies are expected to produce results in three months.
- Organised ring – Police are searching for the accomplices of the three human traffickers who were caught while trying to smuggle 16 people across the Green Line into south Cyprus.
Without upsetting Ankara
The protests against the corroborator government continue despite the well-known fact that all our problems are caused by Turkey’s occupation of the north and the absence of a solution on the island. The number of anti-government protests is growing as the election nears. The Platform of Unions yesterday staged a sit-down protest outside the parliament against the destruction caused by the devaluation of the Turkish Lira.
- Bidding farewell to Lena Melanidou – A funeral was held for the choirmaster of the bicommunal choir Lena Melanidou.
Tatar reiterates his known stance in Ankara againYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Thursday reiterated his known stance in favour of a two-state solution in Cyprus.
Addressing a conference in Ankara, Tatar said there are two separate peoples on the island and argued that the establishment agreements for the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) even acknowledge this fact.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriots founded their state in the northern part of the island as a result of the developments throughout history, Tatar said the ‘TRNC’ has survived to date despite all isolations and embargoes with the support of Turkey.
Tatar added since his election in office, the Turkish Cypriot side has come up with a new vision based on the sovereign equality of the two sides.
He also argued that despite the Turkish Cypriot side’s goodwill in the negotiations processes, the talks for a federal settlement failed due to the Greek Cypriot side’s rejectionist attitude.
Tatar stressed the Turkish Cypriots will never make concessions on Turkey’s guarantees.
Police looking for the human traffickersYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The Nicosia district court ordered the 17 undocumented migrants who were caught on December 13 by police while trying to cross to the south, to remain in police custody for another seven days.
The police officer informed the court on Thursday that they have identified two human traffickers and other accomplices operating within the universities in the north luring victims. The police officer asked the suspects to remain in custody until the police conclude their investigation.
The police on December 13 had migrants as they attempted to cross over to the south illegally.
The group were captured in Akıncılar (Louroujina) as they attempted to cross through a military area through three rented vehicles.
A person believed to be connected to the incident was also arrested on the same day.
New minimum wage draws harsh criticisms from allYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The new minimum wage, which was accepted on Wednesday with a 40 per cent increase, drew harsh criticisms not only from the business community but also from the opposition parties.
The new monthly wage, which will enter into force from January 1 onwards, was set on Wednesday as ₺7,000 (€515) gross and ₺6,090 (€449) net. The new amount is 40 per cent higher than the amount identified on September 1.
Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans (KTEZO) on Thursday argued that the new amount was decided given the upcoming elections and to win votes for the National Unity Party (UBP).
“The decision on the minimum wage will deal a blow to the operations of the businesses and threaten their survival,” the KTEZO said.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman, in his evaluation of the new minimum wage, said the 40% increase in the wage is a positive development.
He however added that the private sector must equally be supported so that they can pay their workers the new amount.
“The government must raise the minimum wage, but it must also protect the private sector and ensure the continuity of their operations,” Erhürman said, warning that the high minimum wage might result in new unemployment or more employment without any registration.
People’s Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay also slammed the government regarding its decision on the minimum wage, arguing that it had only fuelled a fight between the employers and the employees.
“The HP supports the rise in the wage but a new scheme in parallel should have been announced for the businesses,” Özersay said, accusing the authorities of acting without consulting the relevant stakeholders.
Social Democratic Party (TDP) MP Zeki Çeler on Thursday accused the government “for playing with people’s livelihood for the sake of the elections.”
“It is not yet known whether the new minimum wage will be implemented or not,” Çeler said pointing to the business community which is preparing to take the issue to the courts.
Çeler also argued that identifying and announcing a new minimum wage is not allowed under the ‘election prohibitions’ provision of the election law.
Meanwhile, the Platform of Unions on Thursday staged a protest outside the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
The trade unions urged the government to implement measures to protect the purchasing power of the people against the devaluating Turkish lira and the price increases introduced on main consumables in the north as a result. The trade unions also demanded the retail prices to be decreased given the Turkish lira gaining strength against foreign currencies.
The trade unions also condemned the business community’s reaction to the 40 per cent increase in the minimum wage.
LTB Mayor Harmancı met with German Ambassador Schlimm
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Nicosia Turkish Municipality (LTB) Mayor Mehmet Harmancı received German Ambassador Anke Schlimm on Thursday.
In a statement issued, the LTB said Harmancı and Schlimm discussed the developments in the Cyprus problem, intercommunal talks and the LTB’s relations with Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot municipality.