Management problem in TRNC
No matter what anyone says, it’s really bad. Unfortunately, the ongoing “electoral fatigue” or “chronic incompetence” in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) that began in April 2020 is becoming rooted increasingly.
Under British rule and afterward, the Turkish Cypriot people, like the Greek Cypriot people, have always argued that they can achieve self-governance. The scandal over selling passports on the Greek side is the tip of the iceberg, revealing the blatant corruption addiction of the political administration. There’s a systematic decay. Is the Turkish side different? No, not at all.
In fact, the newly elected president should be given time, patience should be shown, and should be judged through the actions that he undertakes. He must be given the benefit of the doubt. He means well, but that’s it. How many senior officials have changed in the short time left behind in the TRNC Presidential Office?
The electoral thing began when the presidential election was postponed from April to October 2020 in an unconstitutional way. The vacancy of prime minister’s seat -- vacated on Oct. 18, 2020, with Ersin Tatar as the elected president – could not be resolved with the quick appointment of a caretaker and the formation of a new government. Arbitrarily, the prime minister’s seat was kept vacant for two months, and the National Unity Party’s internal power fight was seen as more important than the interests of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people. Later, Ersan Saner climbed to the post of party president and prime minister, which he could never have imagined in a normal race. Result? A government was formed that could not even elect its candidate for the seat of parliament speaker.
On one day, it is said that the Greek part would not be asked for a vaccine, as the EU was expected to send vaccines to North Cyprus. The next day, the head of an intercommunal health committee, who is working for the TRNC president, says that a handful of vaccines will be given by the Greek side to the Turkish side. What’s the amount? It is only 2,000, with 2,000 more vaccines to be sent after some time. Would it be enough? Tragicomedy. Who would be vaccinated with such a trivial amount? Maybe a few political elites. However, Turkey announced that it would give 500,000 vaccines and has sent the first part. What if it’s not incompetence? You’re going to say that we’re not a minority or a sub-government of the Greek administration, and then you accept few dozens of vaccines that the Greek Cypriot side announces they would “donate” like charity to Turkish Cypriots. Insolence.
Obviously, the friends in charge of the TRNC cannot run the country. As a matter of fact, they themselves started talking about going to early elections in April. The more shameful part is for the prime minister to believe that he can even go to elections in April.
The situation is similar to Turkey of 2001. There are no politicians on the left or right side to reassure. Moreover, those who are expected to be alternatives are devastated by the severe erosion of trust. It is a shame that those in the executive position cannot bring a solution to any problems in this ongoing pandemic enviornment, despite all the additional opportunities provided by Turkey. Either they can’t cure the problems, or they have no idea of the remedy, or they believe that paying the civil servants’ salary is enough because their own interests and love for comfortable seats of power are sweeter. All three possibilities are serious disasters.
The prime minister declared a semi-closure for the TRNC valid until the 22nd. The very same day, a few hours later, the health minister introduced a far more stringent closure decision, valid until the end of the month, based on a decision of the Pandemic High Board. While the public ponders which decision stands, both the prime minister and the health minister sit comfortably in their seats, while the president, whose job is to observe the harmonious work of state institutions, is watching them and surfing on social media.
There’s an acute authority vacuum in the TRNC. I am sad. Unfortunately, in terms of self-governing capacity, Turkish Cypriots were better even during the ghetto life period in which they were confined in 1963-1974 period. At the time, they had limited possibilities, almost no resources. They were locked up in an area less than one-third of the present territory under their control but still were governed far better. Today, despite Turkey’s massive support, there is a deficiency of governance in all forms. Time is perhaps ripe to sweep the entire political elite down the drains and bring in new ones. However, the problem was that most of the potential new faces in politics were tarnished as well over the past few years.