Fibre optic internet cables will be installed in every single home in the north in 2024, according to ‘public works minister’ Erhan Arikli.

Arikli was speaking at an event hosted by the Turkish Informatics Association in Antalya on Saturday and said “we have major technological deficiencies and legislative deficiencies, and we will deal with them. Now, in 2024, we will bring fibre optic cables to every home.”

“We will declare the entire island a ‘techno park’. We already have ‘techno parks’ at the Eastern Mediterranean University and the Middle East Technical University’s North Cyprus campus, but if instead of just establishing them at universities, we will do it for the whole island,” he said.

To this end, he said the ‘government’ will “evaluate all kinds of technological developments and include them in developments and offer them state support, we will make significant progress towards becoming an IT-island in 2025 or 2026.”

In addition to at-home internet, he said the north will also have a 5G mobile network within five years.

He said, “it is true, the TRNC is currently quite far behind in terms of catching up to technology. We have just switched to 4G. We will switch to 5G within five years.”

However, he said he already has his sights set on the next developments, saying “when I saw the developments in technology, I said to our two GSM operators, leave 5G to one side and prepare for 6G. When we roll out 5F in five years, perhaps the world will start using 6G. I hope that the meetings I have here will help us catch up with developments.”

He also spoke on the issue of language used in computing and technology and said “we have been saying for a long time that technology has taken over the Turkish language and is killing it. The Turkish language association has not done sufficient work on this matter.”

In addition, he turned his attention to the issue of the cases regarding the Cypriot children who were killed in the Isias hotel in Adiyaman, Turkey, during February’s earthquakes.

“The pain of the earthquake was felt most deeply in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We lost 49 lives, 24 of whom were our volleyball players. Of course, earthquakes are part of nature, but living in buildings which are not earthquake-resistant is a choice, and letting others live in such buildings is equally irresponsible,” he said.

“The columns were cut at the Isias hotel. Now, the fact that the people who committed that murder face 22 years in prison and will be released in 10 to 12 years cannot be called an exemplary punishment,” he added.

Arikli joins opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman and son of former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Serdar Denktash in calling for harsher punishments for those responsible for the Isias hotel’s collapse.