Sunday, 29 May 2022
Chairman of the CTP Tufan Erhürman who was among a number of people addressing a General Assembly of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, spoke about the economy and industry.
Referring to the costs of electricity, fuel and raw materials to the industry, Erhürman also touched upon the shortage of trained personnel. He explained that people with a Republic of Cyprus passport who were trained as intermediate staff, preferred to work in Southern Cyprus, third country citizens also tried to escape to the South when they had the opportunity, and Turkish citizens began to prefer to stay in Turkey. Stating that they are faced with a serious problem in terms of personnel, Erhürman emphasised that the problems continue in exports.
Noting that inflation is running at 90 percent in North Cyprus and 70 percent in the Republic of Turkey, Erhürman said that these figures are due to the depreciation of the Turkish lira.
Erhürman, who called the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry the “Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Magicians”, said, “Because in this environment, it is necessary to be a magician to produce [anything]”.
Mentioning the 2022 Economic and Financial Cooperation Protocol signed between the TRNC and Turkey, Erhürman said, “The economic and financial cooperation protocols signed with Turkey are always important, but more important in this period. Because this period is the period when we experienced the pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the excessive loss of value of TL. You know that we, as TRNC, can find external resources from two places. One is the Republic of Turkey and the other is the European Union”.
Erhürman stated that the Economic and Financial Cooperation Protocol totalled 4.250 billion Turkish lira but 733 million of this amount has been transferred from 2020 and 1.36 billion from 2021. Stating that there was a remainder of 2.15 Turkish lira when carried over from previous year.
While Erhürman was continuing his speech, President Tatar interrupted him by saying, “This is not the place to criticise Turkey“. Erhürman replied by saying that he was talking about the economy, he said, “I am not criticising Turkey, I am giving the figures. We have already come to this point because you interpret everything as criticising Turkey.”
During this tense moment, the Chairman of the Council Musa Sönmezler, addressing President Tatar said, “Please do not interfere. We invited him (Erhürman) to speak , and now when it’s your turn, you will speak”. He then asked Erhürman to continue his speech. However, Erhürman did not want to continue his speech on the grounds that he did not want to involve the KTSO in an environment of unnecessary tension and emphasised that relations with Turkey could be placed on the right ground.
Erhürman said, “The existence of democracy in the country is always the basis for the development of the economy” and left the hall expressing his wish that the General Assembly would be frutiful.
In an article published later on, President Tatar’s office issued a statement saying that at that time, the CTP leader had been overlong in his speech making and that as a result, the president had been delayed for attending a funeral.
It was also reported that Tufan Erhürman returned to the meeting and spoke with those present after President Tatar left.