TRNC Finance Minister Birikim Ozgur has said that Turkey finances 25% of the TRNC’s budget annually, Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’ reported.
He described this contribution as extremely import and added that the country would become bankrupt without Turkey’s financial contribution.
Ozgur noted that a new economic programme for the period 2016-2018 is expected to be signed by the end of the year.
Pointing out that Turkey has always supported the development of the Turkish Cypriots, Ozgur noted that Turkey’s aid pays for infrastructure investments, defence, private sector incentives and salaries.
Turkey’s annual aid and donations have exceeded one billion TL, Ozgur added. “The aid is absolutely necessary for the functioning of public finances. We also receive aid for salaries, a sum which annually exceeds 200 million TL on average. Otherwise, the public finances would become non-functional”, he said.
The Turkish Cypriots are fortunate because the Turkish government is stable, Ozgur argued. However, in the past Turkey had been giving aid to the Turkish Cypriots without a plan, but now this has changed and they have a programme which should continue. “We must defend the programmes we sign and abide by them”, he said adding that a North Cyprus with a strong economy will not remain an unfulfilled dream.
According to ‘Milliyet’, the TRNC pays 150 million TL in salaries and Turkey transfers 20 million TL every month towards these salaries. It also spends more than one billion TL for investments and defence.