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Aksa ‘made $1bn in profit in Cyprus since 2000’

feature esra aksa's facility in the north
Aksa's facility in the north

Turkish energy company Aksa made $1 billion (€924 million) in profit in Cyprus since 2000, Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Mechanical Engineers chairman Ayer Yarkiner claimed on Friday.

Yarkiner at a joint press conference on the matter of the Turkish Cypriots’ electricity struggles with the north’s electricity authority (Kib-Tek)’s workers’ union chairman Ahmet Tugcu and Cyprus Turkish Workers’ Union (Turk-Sen) Arslan Bicakli.

He said, “our people are being brutally exploited. A great and unprecedented robbery is taking place, and governments are causing this.”

He made reference to the procurement contracts signed between Kib-Tek and Aksa, the latest of which was signed last August and will run until 2038, which see Kib-Tek compelled to buy electricity from Aksa’s Kalecik power station near the village of Gastria.

“There was no need for the Kalecik contracts. Kib-Tek’s installed capacity was sufficient in 2004 and it was still sufficient in 2009 when they first said it was insufficient. These contracts were not made to serve Kib-Tek or the Turkish Cypriot people, but to make profit for Aksa,” he said.

He added that Kib-Tek’s capacity was 95 per cent sufficient before the first contract was signed in 2003, and effectively was slashed by a quarter upon the signing of said contract. He also said “grave mistakes” were made when the second was signed in 2009.

“With the second contract, Aksa was paid for fuel it did not consume. The full rental fee was paid but no return was received, fine adjustments were made at cabinet for these illegal practices, and a dagger was rammed into the chest of the Turkish Cypriot people,” he said.

He added that the third contract has been taken to court, and that he projects Aksa will make another €1.26bn in net profit in Cyprus between the signing of the contract last August and its expiry in 2038 should it remain in place.

“These decisions were taken with the aim of ‘how can we make Kib-Tek unable to produce?’. Aksa has made a total profit of $1bn in 24 years. If the energy bought from Aksa was produced in Kib-Tek power stations, $1bn would have been saved.

“They siphoned this money off and caused massive losses for the institutions. They broke Kib-Tek’s machines and did not maintain them on time so that Aksa’s profits could continue without interruption. Kib-Tek’s capacity has dropped from 95 per cent to 36 per cent,” he said.

He also said that a million square metres of land Kib-Tek would have used to produce renewable energy had been given free of charge to the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry and the Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers’ Association (Kitob), and that that decision would also be challenged in court.

Additionally, he pointed out that Kib-Tek had paid the Republic’s Elecricity Authority (EAC) $19m (€17.5m) last year.

He called on the ‘government’ and opposition parties to “save” Kib-Tek, saying “it will be even more difficult to save Kib-Tek tomorrow,” before likening the problems Kib-Tek faces to “gangrene”.

Ahmet Tugcu also referred to the Kalecik contracts when he spoke at the press conference, saying they “ignore the public interest, are sloppy, irresponsible, uncalculated, and far from serious.”

He then added that the results are “grave”.

The Turkish Cypriot community has been sentenced to pay this heavy bill for bad and unlawful management in instalments every month,” he said, adding that El-Sen will “continue to fulfil its duty by informing society correctly” about the problems.

The final speaker was Arslan Bicakli, who said society should “stand up”, and that “institutions and organisations have been knowingly damaged”.

He then listed off a number of Turkish Cypriot institutions which have closed in recent years, including Sanayi Holding, Eti, Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY), and the Saray hotel, asking “where are they now?”

“Unions are protesting for the state to invest. Where in the world has this ever been seen?

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