Serdar Denktash, the son of late Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash, said on Thursday that the north’s ‘government’ “has not done one good thing” during its time in office.
“I am waiting for the day I can compliment the government on doing one nice thing, but unfortunately that day has not been forthcoming,” Denktash told Kibris Postasi TV.
“They have not put forward a plan, a goal, a programme, and worst of all, they do not give the people any hope. There is a growing group of people who are angry at the government. I think the government must not be aware of these people, because otherwise we would have to conclude they are making them angry on purpose,” he added.
He accused the Ersin Tatar administration of alienating people from the state and Turkey.
Speaking on the economical difficulties faced by Turkish Cypriots, he said “our people are having to work two jobs just to be able to buy a house and a car and send their children to school.”
To this end, he urged the north’s authorities to allow the numerous universities to keep operating and keep accepting students from abroad.
“Efforts to cut off this source are extremely misguided in terms of the economy. We would be doing ourselves a great disservice if we tried to cut off a river of inward investment into our economy just because we cannot control the number of third country nationals entering the country,” he said.
“We would be shooting ourselves in the foot.”
He also spoke on the matter of the forthcoming trials in Turkey of those responsible for the collapse of the Isias hotel in the city of Adiyaman during February’s earthquakes, where 24 Turkish Cypriot children died.
He joined the calls for those responsible to be tried with intentionally killing all 24 children.
“A precedent regarding the Isias case has attracted my attention. A case is being filed against those responsible for the Ezgi apartment building in Kahramanmaras, based on intent, and they have requested 700 years in prison.”
But he said in the Isias case, they are asking for only 25 and a half years and a conviction of negligence.
“There is a very serious difference between these two concepts. There must be a case filed in the Isias case based on intent, as requested by the families of the children who were killed.”
He warned that that 25 and a half years means that the people responsible would be released after serving only seven or eight years in prison.
“Not only those who cut columns during construction, but also those who gave that permission and did not carry out inspections must be punished,” he said.
He called on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to act on the matter, saying, “our government needs to find ways to intervene more effectively in this case.”
Denktash’s calls for those responsible to be tried with intentionally killing the Isias hotel victims come hot on the heels of calls from main opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman.
He said on Wednesday that he had consulted with Pervin Aksoy, a lawyer and former colleague of his when both worked at Famagusta’s Eastern Mediterranean University.
Aksoy’s daughter Serin was among the children killed at the Isias hotel, and Erhurman said “I picked up the phone a few times and put it down. Then, trying to gather my strength, I called her. As always, she explained the matter in detail, with examples, in a way which one would understand even if one were not a lawyer.”
He added, “Pervin says ‘possible intent’. So do many criminal lawyers, and the grieving families of those who lost their children. Wherever I look, I see possible intent, not negligence.”
“You stole everything from us, our whole life is over. Everything has been shattered, our lives are lost, how can you think of getting away with such a light punishment? Don’t even try to imagine how I feel, longing for my daughter for a lifetime, pursuing you for a lifetime, everywhere, all the time,” she added.