Construction of the new Morphou hospital will be completed in 2024, according to the north’s ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel.

Ustel visited Morphou on Monday and said “we will put out a tender for the hospital’s completion and we will complete construction in 2024.”

The hospital had become a blot on Morphou’s landscape, with construction having began in 2017 and been paused in 2019. The unfinished shell of the building had attracted criticism earlier in the year.

CTP ‘MP’ and former ‘health minister’ Filiz Besim said in July that the existing Morphou Health Centre could not sufficiently cope with demand in the town and its surrounding villages, adding “health has been completely sacrificed in Morphou.”

The hospital was also mentioned in the financial protocol signed between Turkey and the north in March, with Ustel’s words on Monday now confirming the ‘government’s’ intentions.

In the same speech, he announced that “the first foundation stone” of the ‘government’s’ large-scale social housing project would be laid in Morphou.

Plans announced in September show 1,200 social houses are set to be built in the town, while other similar developments have also been planned across the north.

Additionally, Ustel said he wants to “make the houses tax-exempt to reduce costs”. He added that he is waiting for an opinion from the north’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the legality of such a move.

“We will make newly married young people who do not have a home become homeowners,” he added.

He also said Morphou “is a special area for us”, adding that his party the UBP “has put to an end discussions over whether the town has been or will be given to the Greek Cypriots, and as a result, investments in the region have begun to increase.”

In addition, he spoke about the ongoing crisis in Gaza, saying “look, Palestine is right next to us. People are being killed. They are being massacred.”

“Where are the United Nations? Where are the European Union and human rights? War crimes are being committed and they remain silent. They made us experience the same thing at the time,” he added.