Cyprus Mail

North ‘minister’ to ‘MP’: you don’t have the capacity to understand

olgun amcaoglu
Olgun Amcaoglu, the Turkish Cypriot 'energy minister'

The north’s ‘energy minister’ Olgun Amcaoglu caused a stir on Monday at the ‘parliamentary’ debate regarding his ‘minstry’s’ budget after he told an ‘MP’ who asked him a question “I will not explain the matter, you could not understand it, you don’t have the capacity.”

Monday’s debate is the latest in the north’s “marathon” budget process, which began on November 9.

On Monday’s agenda was the ‘energy ministry’s’ budget, with Amcaoglu attending the ‘parliamentary’ finance committee to discuss the matter.

Opposition party CTP ‘MP’ Urun Solyali said there was “nothing to do with energy” in the ‘ministry’s’ budget, adding, “we could not find any energy-related policies, visions or projects.”

Despite this, he said, “the ministry made an energy agreement overnight, and there was no hesitation in transferring energy supply to a private monopoly,” referring to the 15-year procurement contract signed with Turkish energy firm Aksa back in July.

It was at this point that Amcaoglu told him he lacked “the capacity” to understand proceedings, before Solyali continued his line of questioning.

He asked about appointments made to the competition board, which overseas and ensures industries in the north do not become monopolies. He asked why there were two seats on the board kept vacant for two years before they were filled.

Amcaoglu responded by asking “is there a single appointment left that you haven’t criticised?”

In a social media post after the committee meeting, Solyali said “ministers resort to insults during budget discussions when they do not have an answer.”

As with the other stages of the budget debate so far, the ‘ministry’s’ budget, set at around 288 million TL (€9.1m), was approved by the committee with votes from the ruling parties.

Next on the agenda is the ‘transport ministry’s’ budget, which has been set at just shy of 2.1 billion TL (€66.8m).

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