Özgürgün starts duty as new PM of Turkish Cyprus
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoNational Unity Party (UBP) head Hüseyin Özgürgün has started his duty as the new prime minister of Turkish Cyprus, after the country’s president approved of the new coalition government cabinet in the wake of the last government’s collapse earlier this month.
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı approved of the new coalition government cabinet under Prime Minister Özgürgün, after the UBP formed a coalition with the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) and independents, and announced the government’s new cabinet list after submitting it for the president’s approval.
The UBP, which was the junior partner in the wide-based coalition with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), had withdrawn from the government on April 2, citing the ill economic policies of the government.
In Özgürgün’s cabinet, DP head Serdar Denktaş was appointed as the new deputy prime minister and finance minister, while Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu was appointed minister for foreign affairs. Kutlu Evren has become the interior minister, Sunat Atun was appointed as the economy and energy minister, while Hamza Ersan Saner was made the labor and social security minister. Meanwhile, Özdemir Berova was appointed as education and culture minister, Faiz Sucuoğlu the health minister, Nazım Çavuşoğlu the agriculture and natural resources minister, and Kemal Dürüst as the public works and transportation minister.
Özgürgün took the reins from previous Prime Minister Ömer Kalyoncu in a handover ceremony on April 16.
Amid the change in government, the Turkish Cypriot administration is in talks with the Greek Cypriot administration over a possible reunification agreement, possibly to be reached this year. The island has been divided since 1974, when Turkey partially intervened into the northern part after a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu paid a visit to the island on April 16, during which he came together with Akıncı and Özgürgün, hours after he started his new duty.
Speaking after a meeting with Özgürgün, Çavuşoğlu said the swift formation of a new government in Turkish Cyprus was important for stability to continue on the island.