Turkey backs Turkish Cyprus in technologies

Turkey backs Turkish Cyprus in technologies

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey backs Turkish Cyprus in technologies

A man looks at the high-technology communication equipment at a stand at the CeBIT informatics event in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah Gürel

Turkish Cyprus has already surpassed Greek Cyprus economically despite an ongoing international embargo and will acquire information technology as advanced as Turkey’s, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım said at yesterday’s IT forum.

Cooperation between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus in the information sector will increase, raising the island’s Turkish side to a higher technological level, Yıldırım said at the opening ceremony of the four-day CeBIT Informatics Fair in Istanbul, featuring Turkish Cyprus as this year’s partner country.

“I declare that we will not abandon [Turkish] Cyprus to poverty as the entire world plays ostrich and isolates the island’s northern side. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is now at a point where its economy is stronger than [Greek] Cyprus,” Yıldırım said.

A second submarine fiber-optic network cable from Anatolia to the northern side of the island was inaugurated Nov. 10 in Kyrenia, also known as Girne, he added.

e-state to develop

Electronic state services in Turkish Cyprus are being built by Turkey and will be put to use as soon as possible. “Any technological improvements will be implemented in Turkish Cyprus in tandem with Turkey,” Yıldırım said.

Turkish Cypriot Economy and Energy Minister Sunat Atun also emphasized Turkey’s contribution to his country’s economy, saying Turkey has put “an indelible mark on the country.”

“Southern Cyprus brought the negotiations on the island to a deadlock, but thanks to confident steps taken with our motherland of Turkey, the global economic crisis did not affect us,” Atun said.

For the first time in the country’s history, tourist numbers have reached 1 million, Atun added, also praising international students in the country who seek higher education in Turkish Cyprus.

Atun said the country’s chronic problem of water distribution would be solved when Turkey completed the laying of pipelines and that Turkey was seeking a solution for this major problem without regard to its own interests.

Thanks to Turkey

“In the name of my country, I thank Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the projects that nobody could even imagine five years ago.”

Turkish Cyprus’ transportation minister, Hamza Ersan Saner, also expressed gratitude to Turkey.

Additionally, the total number of 3G subscribers in Turkey has surpassed 40 million, according to the latest data, Yıldırım said, and the total number of phone subscribers has hit 67.2 million.

Greek Cyprus banks post large losses

Greek Cyprus’ top two banks have posted losses as the debt crisis keeps hurting the government. The Bank of Cyprus announced post-tax losses on Nov. 28 of 211 million euros for the first nine months as a result of provisions for bad loans and a Greek debt write-off. But the losses were down on the 793 million euros the bank lost during the same period of 2011, Agence France-Presse reported. Cyprus Popular Bank, the number two lender there, also announced post-tax losses on Nov. 28 of more than 1.67 billion euros for the first nine months of 2012, sharply up on the same period of last year. The 1.674 billion euro loss compared with 284 million euros lost in the first three quarters of last year.