TRNC fruit producers are reacting with indignation to the reintroduction of a regulation which demands that a Turkish Cypriot or Turkish Republic passport must be used when travelling abroad to attend fairs or other events, otherwise they lose state funding which covers their expenses.
The same UBP-DP coalition governmement introduced the regulation discouraging the use of RoC passports in 2013. Producers showing at international fairs had their expenses subsidised by between 60-75% by the state.
The decision which was taken in June 2016, brought the same response when it was introduced in 2013.
Turkish Cypriot Kibris Gazetesi contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which confirmed the news. “The council of ministries has decided not to offer any assistance unless the producers travel with the TRNC or the TR passport”, an official of the ministry told the paper.
There was a lot of reaction by producers who were planning to participate in an international fair in Italy next month.
Commenting on the issue, the chairman of the Guzelyurt-Lefke citrus fruit growers’ union, Sami Dayioglu stated that this decision is wrongheaded and called on the prime minister to revise it. He pointed out that the fairs allow them to develop and make their products known to the world.