Unal Ustel, the north’s ‘prime minister’, said on Tuesday evening that he knows the north’s population, but that he cannot say.

“We know the population,” he said, speaking on television show Er Meydani.

However, when prompted by presenter Mustafa Alkan to reveal the figure, he said “there are numbers that can be talked about, and there are some numbers that cannot be talked about. There are some numbers that are not mentioned.”

Ustel was speaking regarding the north’s ‘government’s’ creation of a “five-year development plan”, which he said would be devised without conducting a census and instead calculating the north’s population through projection.

In 2021, an “official estimate” was made by the north’s ‘government’ that the population at the time was 382,836.

The last census was conducted in 2011, with the population set at 286,257 people.

On the date of the last election in the north, the ‘parliamentary’ by-election on June 25 this year, there were 210,121 registered voters.

In 2022 it was estimated that there were around 110,000 students, many of whom are third country nationals, registered in the north.