Greek Cypriots don’t intend to use Turkish water, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister says
Greek Cypriots do not intend to use fresh water provided through a pipeline from Turkey to Turkish Cyprus, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ said on Dec. 12. Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Recep Akdağ, who is also in charge of Turkish Cyprus’ economic development on behalf of Turkey, said there are currently no plans for the Greek Cypriots to use the water supplied from the southern province of Mersin. “The Greek Cypriot side has no intention to do any work with Turkish Cyprus. Why talk about an intention which doesn’t exist?” said Akdağ. “There are some foolish Greek Cypriot politicians and leading figures who say they would rather drink poison than Turkish water,” Akdağ said. Akdağ said if Greek Cypriots pursue harmonious ties with Turkish Cyprus, they could benefit from the water. “We want the island to be an island of peace. We want to reach a solution and the formation of a government based on equal rights between the two societies,” Akdağ said. The project to send fresh water to Turkish Cyprus through an 80-kilometer-long pipeline under the Mediterranean began in October 2015. Under the project, some 75 million cubic meters of fresh water is set to be sent each year for a total of 50 years. Akdağ said a project to build a free hospital on the Turkish Cypriot side of the capital Nicosia is deliberately being misrepresented. “Some circles are misinforming the people of Turkish Cyprus on this topic. They are doing this deliberately. These people are hostile to Turkey and the Turkish nation. They are hostile to our brothers living in Turkish Cyprus,” he said. Dismissing a rumor that the hospital would charge patients for its healthcare services, Akdağ said, “Such a thing is definitely not true.” Akdağ said the hospital’s services will be both free and provided through the latest technology. He added that the hospital’s interior will be 200,000 square meters in size. The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared on Nov. 15, 1983. Turkey blamed Greek Cypriot intransigence after the latest peace initiative in Switzerland collapsed this July.