Cyprus Mail

Turkish Cypriots ‘ministers’ summoned to Turkey over price crisis

feature esra main turkish cypriots protesting about electricity prices (photo yeniduzen)
Turkish Cypriots protesting about electricity prices (Photo Yeniduzen)

Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Faiz Sucuoglu leaves for Ankara on Wednesday along with three ‘government ministers’ for finance, transport and tourism to discuss the growing economic and electricity crisis in the north.

According to reports ‘finance minister’ Sunat Atun was rumoured to have submitted his resignation over the crisis but that Ankara did not accept.

The four men are expected to meet later Wednesday with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.

The latest in the crisis that has seen living standards plummet for Turkish Cypriots struggling to pay electricity bills that are reportedly 200 per cent higher, was the decision by Sucuoglu to reduce the price of electricity that would cost TL180 million (11m euros) a month to cover.

According to CNA, citing Turkish media, a crisis has arisen within the ‘government’ due to the proposal.

Sucuoglu reportedly tried to oust Aton by forcing him to resign, but this was prevented by Ankara, hence the summons to the Turkish capital where the new protocol of fiscal and economic cooperation between Turkey and the north will be discussed.

It was slated to be signed on Thursday.

According to Avrupa newspaper, Sucuoglu has conveyed to Oktay his opposition to certain protocol clauses, such as the freezing of the cost of living allowance (Cola), the cancellation of 13th salaries and the sale of the north’s electricity authority.

Meanwhile, the employees there are continuing their work stoppage on Wednesday, complaining that there is an attempt to privatise the body with Turkish investment.

Yeni Duzen writes that in addition to the freezing of Cola, the new protocol also includes an increase in taxes, something that Sucuoglu denied in his comments to the newspaper. He had declined to comment on the contents of the protocol, saying it had not yet been finalised.

Opposition parties in the north had also reacted to the fact that the clauses in the new protocol have not been disclosed.

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