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Cyprus

North ‘antiquities department’ hits back

Former Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay

The north’s ‘antiquities department’ on Tuesday hit back at former Turkish Cypriot chief negotiator for the Cyprus problem Kudret Ozersay, accusing him of complicity in the lawbreaking of which he accuses them.

Ozersay had requested the north’s ‘auditor general’ open an investigation into the handing out of ‘government’ contracts by the department without a tender – an act which runs contrary to the north’s law.

The result of the investigation was the uncovering of evidence of lawbreaking, with Ozersay turning the screw on the ‘government’, the responsible ‘minister’ Fikri Ataoglu, and ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel.

However, the ‘antiquities department’ has now responded, saying a total of 14 such contracts were handed out without tenders while Ozersay himself was in ‘government’, serving as ‘foreign minister’ between January 2018 and December 2020.

“It is significant that Kudret Ozersay is only targeting the years 2022 and 2023 regarding the contracts we signed. The real question to be asked is why he does not take into account practices since November 15, 2016, when the law was introduced,” they said.

They added, “it was seen that during Ozersay’s time in office, while he was at the Foreign Ministry, no different practices were introduced and contracts were handed out in the same way they always were.”

They added that Ozersay’s signature was on the 14 potentially illegal contracts ratified by the ‘government’.

“The public prosecutor’s office states that these contracts are not in compliance with the law and also recommends that if any such contracts are detected, they should be reported to the police. Considering that the public prosecutor’s office said this in January 2020, why did Ozersay not take the initiative and report it to the police?

“Why did he not cancel these agreements made in the past, about which he is currently complaining, and open new tenders?” they asked.

They added, “what Ozersay was trying to do at the time was only to open toilet tenders.”

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