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Cyprus

Outcry over Tymbou becoming domestic airport of Turkey

Tymbou (Ercan) airport

News that Tymbou (Ercan) airport in the north might become a Turkish domestic airport has sparked anger Turkish Cypriots who view it as another move towards becoming a province of the mainlaind.

Several news outlets reported on Wednesday that ‘prime minister’ in the north Faiz Sucuoğlu is behind the proposed idea, claiming that, if the plan gets approved, plane tickets from the north to Turkey will cost on average €37 less.

“I want to make it clear, however, that Ercan becoming a Turkish domestic airport does not mean that we will become a province of Turkey,” Sucuoğlu told newspaper Kibris Postasi. “That said, airfares play a significant role in our economy and our GDP.”

His comments were met with general scepticism by the Turkish Cypriot opposition, as several politicians strongly dismissed the idea.

Former ‘prime minister’ Tufan Erhurman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), told newspaper Yeni Duzen that the proposal has no legal basis.

“We are talking about two distinct states, how can the Ercan airport be incorporated in Turkey’s domestic network? Sucuoğlu’s proposal makes no sense.”

Erhurman’s words were also echoed by the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit

“Even just beginning a discussion on the issue is unacceptable. We all remember what happened to the Cyprus Turkish Airlines,” he told news outlet Yeni Bakiş, referring to the Turkish Cypriot airline’s collapse in June 2010.

Another member of the TDP, Mehmet Çakıcı, also strongly opposed Sucuoğlu’s idea.

“With the integration of Ercan airport in Turkey’s network, we would be abandoning all our self-governing goals,” he said.

Finally, Kudret Özersay, leader of the People’s Party, told Kibris Postasi that “ideas such as the one proposed by Sucuoğlu just before an election should not be given any attention.”

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