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Arikli scolds coalition partner Ataoglu

arikli
Arikli said he will make an “official merger proposal” to Milletin Partisi leader Bertan Zaroglu.

The north’s ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli scolded his coalition partner and ‘deputy prime minister’ Fikri Ataoglu in a televised interview on Tuesday.

Arikli, who leads the YDP, the third largest party in the north’s three-party ruling coalition, was speaking on BRT about the cancellation of taxi and bus licences and rental car permits which had been issued late in December.

The issuing of taxi licences, known colloquially as “T permits” as taxis and buses in the north have an extra letter “T” in at the beginning of their licence plates, had caused controversy over a perceived lack of transparency.

The freshly issued licences were abruptly cancelled on Monday subject to further review, but not before Fikri Ataoglu had told Kibris Postasi he and the ‘tourism ministry’, which he heads, were “unaware” of any decision having been made until after the fact.

Ataoglu leads the DP, the second-largest of the north’s ruling parties.

In response on Tuesday, Arikli poured scorn on his coalition partner, saying he had not taken “the right approach”.

“I will ask Fikri Ataoglu, ‘you were in the four-party coalition government [which also involved the CTP, the TDP, and the HP]. At that time, 100 to 150 permits were given. Were you ever asked?”

Moving to defend himself, he added, “there is an independent board which deals with this. Even though it seems like it depends on me, representatives from various departments and professional organisations hand out these permits.”

Arikli’s retort at Ataoglu is one of a few small rumblings of discontent among the north’s ruling coalition, which, with the exception of the four months between November 2021 and February 2022 when the YDP were not involved, has ruled the north continuously since December 2020.

The north’s system of governance is parliamentary, which means that the ‘government’s’ survival depends on having enough votes in ‘parliament’.

The coalition currently has the support of 29 ‘MPs’ in the north’s 50-seat ‘parliament’. The DP make up three of those seats, while the YDP make up two.

The north’s next ‘parliamentary’ election must take place on or before January 17, 2027.

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