Turkish Cyprus suffers from crisis in south

Turkish Cyprus suffers from crisis in south

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Cyprus suffers from crisis in south

Turkish Cypriot FM Özgürgün says that Greek Cyprus is in a crisis, the north tries to overcome hardships. AA photo

Turkish Cypriots are suffering from the financial crisis in Greek Cyprus and are facing discrimination, according to Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün.

“Around 5,000 Turks working in Greek Cyprus have been fired over the financial crisis in the south of the Island,” Özgürgün told a group of journalists yesterday.

The Greek Cypriot administration also cut the health insurance of Turkish Cypriots issued to those born before 1974. “The Greek Cypriot administration has taken back the rights of Turkish Cypriots [in particular and] discriminating them,” Özgürgün noted.

No environment to make progress: Özgürgün

However, despite economic crises, Greek Cypriots preferred to purchase more expensive electricity from an Israeli company instead of the cheaper Turkish Cyprus, he said.

As long as both sides of the divided Mediterranean island continue suffering from economic crises, there will be no environment to make progress on the Cyprus issue, Özgürgün said. “The south of the island is in an economic crisis, the north is trying to overcome economic hardships. Taking that into account, it is questionable that there is an environment to move forward on the Cyprus issue.”
After elections in Greek Cyprus in 2013, there is a possibility for a new round of talks, but Turkish Cypriots oppose open-ended discussions.

Timetable request

Although Turkish Cypriots request a time table for a new round of negotiations, it’s unlikely for Turkish Cypriot to demand it as a precondition, the minister said.

The United Nations has held several rounds of talks between the two sides in a bid to reunite the island. In April, U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon abandoned plans for an international conference on the topic.