Kyrenia Mayor Murat Senkul said on Monday the town’s population could be as high as 150,000 and called on those in power to “be serious” about population growth.

Speaking to Kibris Postasi, he said the number of students in the Kyrenia district is around 40,000, and that a number of students who study in Nicosia actually live in Kyrenia, both boosting the population.

These comments come after Turkish Cypriot Nicosia Mayor Mehmet Harmanci said last week that half the population of the northern part of the capital are students.

Senkul added that the Kyrenia Municipality receives contributions from the north’s ‘government’ based on a population of 47,000 people, and that this lack of funding causes financial problems.

“The situation is not so obvious in Nicosia, for example. There, if the projection is incorrect, they receive funds based on a population of 80,000 rather than 100,000. Our discrepancy is very large,” he added.

To this end, he urged the north’s Statistical Institute to “come up with a fair figure in its population projections,” adding that his municipality is currently “spending every penny it has.”

He added that his municipality was supposed to receive 20 million TL (€654,567) from the ‘finance ministry’ from traffic fines incurred by drivers in Kyrenia, “but we cannot receive it”.

“We invite everyone to be serious,” he said.