You know how it is said, a lunatic throws a rock into a well and 40 smart persons can’t get it out. That’s where we’re at. All hell broke loose when a businessman said, “Cut off the civil servants’ salary and support private-sector workers.” It’s not something anyone with some commonsense would say, of course. However, it can only be the ingenuity of the Turkish Cypriot people and the enemies of the state to start a feud against businesspeople in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus and to thoroughly destroy the investment possibilities that are already not there with such ramble proposals as “asset tax.”
The whole world is grappling with an unforeseen bill imposed on economies by the pandemic. Countries with good economies are developing programs to protect both their citizens and investors as well as private-sector workers from worsening economic conditions. Countries with strong economies, such as Germany and the United States, are supporting their citizens and private sector establishments by such cash contributions or tax deferrals that cannot be considered in North Cyprus or many other countries, but considered just as normal for countries with “social state” awareness. Given the serious pandemic problem, countries with strong economic structure and sufficient crisis funds can say to both their citizens and investors that “you are not alone.”
It is of course absurd to attack public sector workers who complain their hopes for readjustment in wages eroded by a surge in exchange rates. Worse, it is nonsense to demonize them because they received the so-called 13th salary – a residue of the British rule period. The Turkish Cypriot economy would not be better off if the 13th salaries were not paid with cash assistance from Turkey. Correct. The public sector is unnecessarily inflated. The proportion of public sector workers to the overall population is badly impaired. Can anyone blame public employed for this? The corrupt understanding of politics, nepotism and political power has been in office for decades -- through spendthrift extravaganza with public resources.
This crisis has indeed made years of inhuman isolation over North Cyprus more visible. While the European Union and the Greek Cypriot administration continued their humiliating policies during this very serious period, Turkey fulfilled more than the financial support needed. Unfortunately, there is not enough vaccine in Turkey at this stage, but this problem will be eliminated in a short time. I’m sure of it.
New York-Cyprus conference
In this environment, the 5+1 conference of the U.N. in Greentree, New York at the beginning of March (which I wrote last week, is now 5+2 as the EU has been invited as an observer) may cause some difficulties. On the contrary, surprising developments can also occur. Although it will be “informal,” I must admit that there is a concern that the Turkish side could come under serious pressure at Greentree. Should we be afraid? I think if we are aware of the situation, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side can undertake some preemptive planning. Of course, we need to evaluate the situation as realistically as possible without bending it to deceive ourselves.
It’s imperative to be realistic. Otherwise, we’ll just fool ourselves. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he wanted to bring the Cypriot sides and guarantor countries together at the beginning of March and that if there was an agreement, “I’m open to new ideas.” What’s the key term? “If there’s a deal.” What’s the new idea? It’s a clear, two-state solution. Under what terms? If the Greek Cypriots agree to discuss such a solution as well.
With copy and paste, neither the Cyprus problem can be solved, nor isolation can end. For example, we complain that the resolution to extend until July 1, the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force, was adopted without consulting the Turkish Cypriots. Did we try to explain ourselves, or do we have the courage now to say that the decision taken without meeting with us does not bind us and that the U.N. force cannot serve in North Cyprus?
I know the answer, and it’s a “no.” Then don’t talk in vain until you have something to say.