Mixed Reactions to ‘Good News’ From Turkey

TOKI - Social Housing
[TOKİ – Social Housing]
Thursday, 19 January 2023 

Three items of “good news” announced by Ankara regarding social housing to be built by TOKİ (Turkish Social Housing Authority) in Derinya, supply of electricity by undersea cable and the right of Turkish citizens to benefit from the health system in Turkey, have met with mixed responses in the TRNC, Yeniduzen reports.

The Chamber of Architects has said that the project is based on assumptions and that they have not been consulted, while others have complained about a lack of information.

President of the Building Contractors Association Cafer Gürcafer said: “The statement caused reactions in the construction industry at first sight. We are trying to find out the truth. If the project is to be done; if it will be done with the joint participation of all stakeholders in the construction sector, we are not against it. But if TOKİ is to open an office, build social housing in the region where it wants, and make the people who want it, own a house, we will oppose it”.

Former Minister of the Interior Ayşegül Baybars said: “It is good that the project we prepared as the Social Housing Unit during the four-party government continues. However, if this is not an empty promise, our architects, engineers and contractors are capable of realising such a ready-made project. I hope the cooperation with TOKİ will remain [only] in the sense of technical knowledge”. 

Kibris Postasi reports that President of the Chamber of City City Planners Gizem Caner, said that the Chamber had not been informed about the project prior to the announcement. “Our colleagues working in the City Planning Department do not have any information on the subject either”, she said. “Now, as if this project has never been done, no effort and resources have been expended on this subject before, the desire to carry out a new project under the leadership of TOKİ raises question marks. … Especially with TOKİ, it is a big problem because the social housing and housing areas produced by the model followed by TOKİ in Turkey are problematic. It is a pity that TOKİ comes to mind when social housing is mentioned. Especially when there are examples that have been realised before in this country, and projects that have been prepared but not completed”.

North Cyprus News - Undersea electric cable

Undersea Electricity Connector

President of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers (EMO) Üner Kutalmış said, inter alia, “We think that the interconnected connection or connections to be provided to our country will provide significant benefits not only to the TRNC but also to the energy isolation of the island of Cyprus and have the potential to become an energy highway”.

He also referred to the high cost of electricity supplied by TRNC electricity authority Kib-Tek and Turkish electricity provider AKSA.

Kutalmış pointed out that the current energy situation in the country should be discussed. Kib-Tek is not able to meet the rapidly increasing demand for electricity and there are too many power cuts. For a long while, Kib-Tek has been used as a political football, he said. 

Kutalmış pointed out that seasonal energy requirements had to be met by purchasing electricity from AKSA and Southern Cyprus by paying prices far higher than the production cost.

Use of Turkey’s Health System 

Former Minister of Health and CTP Deputy Filiz Besim said that she did not consider the “good news of the right to benefit from the health system in Turkey” for Turkish citizens living in Cyprus, as good news for Cyprus. She stated that there are general health insurance protocols, and cited the example of the agreement between the Netherlands and Turkey. Besim said, “This is the relationship that should be between the two countries“.

Yeniduzen, Kibris Postasi

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