There needs to be a legal distinction between permits for foreigners buying holiday homes and those who are settling permanently in the country, President of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors Association, Cafer Gürcafer said, Yeniduzen reports.
Gürcafer noted that efforts are being made to regulate issues such as work permits and residence permits, highlighting the need for a distinction between foreigners buying homes for holiday purposes and those buying for settlement purposes.
“Who disrupts the demographic structure? The population settling from outside, that is, the population coming for settlement… does not disrupt the demographic structure of those coming for holiday purposes. Our legislation regarding residence permits and setting up businesses is not focused on protecting society or achieving societal benefits. The real problem is here…not in building and selling houses“, he said.
Gürcafer also underlined the need for extreme caution when granting citizenship, saying, “Capital in the world smells and recognizes the investment climate very well, and wherever the investment climate has formed, it goes there. That’s why countries set rules so that there is a certain discipline. We don’t have that. Because of this, we have come to this point“, he added.
Referring to agricultural land in the Mesaoria Plain, Gürcafer said that there had been attempts to build on that land. “Everyone who loves this country will set aside talk and get to work. This is a societal issue, a problem for all of us. For example, an ad-hoc committee could be established in the parliament, and all the problems could be laid on the table, and an agreement could be reached very quickly“, he said.
Impact of Population Increase
Gürcafer went on to say that since the pandemic millions of people have chosen to move to Mediterranean countries including Cyprus.
When 30 – 40,000 people flock to a small country like North Cyprus, the impact is significant, he said.
“As a society, we have a legitimate concern. What is our concern? We have an identity issue because we are an unrecognised country, and our children are migrating, leading to concerns about the disappearance of our social existence. In response to these events, we reacted on this basis. In fact, the reaction of the society is justified. However, the real concern should not be that foreigners prefer this place; it is the absence of regulation on these matters in the country. If there is regulation, you can turn this into tourism and derive societal benefits from it. Without regulations, this place can turn into chaos, and there will be disorder in everything. The public is reacting because they do not see the societal benefit of this due to the lack of regulation”, Gürcafer said.