Greek Cypriots sacking Turkish Cypriot workers says Ozgurgun

Turkish Cypriots are also suffering from the financial crisis in Greek Cyprus and are facing discrimination, says Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün.

“Around 5,000 Turks working in Greek Cyprus have been fired over the financial crisis in the south of the Island,” he added.

The Greek Cypriot administration also cut the health insurance of Turkish Cypriots issued to those born before 1974. “The Greek Cypriot administration has taken back the rights of Turkish Cypriots and is discriminating against them,” Özgürgün noted.

However, despite economic crises, Greek Cypriots had shunned the purchase of cheaper electricity from North Cyprus in favour of buying electricity from Israel at greater expense.

As long as both sides of the divided Mediterranean island continue suffering from economic crises, there will be no favourable conditions  to make progress on the Cyprus issue, Özgürgün said. “The south of the island is in an economic crisis, the north is trying to overcome economic hardships. Taking that into account, it is questionable that there is an environment to move forward on the Cyprus issue.”

After elections in Greek Cyprus in 2013, there is a possibility for a new round of talks, but Turkish Cypriots oppose open-ended discussions.

Although Turkish Cypriots request a time table for a new round of negotiations, it’s unlikely that North Cyprus will demand it as a precondition, the minister said. The United Nations has held several rounds of talks between the two sides in a bid to reunite the island. In April, U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon abandoned plans for an international conference on the topic.

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