Turkey and TRNC argue over water management

Minister of Tourism Faiz Sucuoglu inspected the site on the North Cyprus coastline where the water from Turkey via a suspended pipeline is being discharged. Sucuoglu who tasted the water, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Turkey for undertaking such a project.

Speaking to reporters, Sucuoglu said that the water that is currently flowing from Turkey can solve the whole island’s water problem. He added that the water from Anamur will change the fate of North Cyprus as well as the island. “We are extremely happy to see that the project has been completed after a two year wait”, Sucuoglu said.

Pointing out that the project is one of a kind in the world; he said that the water gives the Turkish Cypriots an important strategic advantage. “If you ask me this is more precious than any oil or natural gas”, he said. Sucuoglu also emphasised the positive impact the water will have on the Cyprus negotiations.

Meanwhile, disagreement between Ankara and the TRNC on the administration of the water transferred from Turkey continues.

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’ writes that despite the fact that the practical work of the water transfer from Turkey is completed, the issue of who will manage the water distribution remains unresolved. Turkey insists that the task be managed by a private company and the TRNC government maintains that it should hold overall responsibility for the water.

Former TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and CTP Chairman told ‘Kibris Postasi’ that “it is out of the question for the water to be brought from Turkey and all other public water resources, to be given to a private firm to be administered”, adding that the right thing to do is to establish an independent water administration which would take care of the water from Turkey as well as all resources on the island.

Asked if privatising the water supply was an order from Turkey, Talat was said it would be unfair to say this was an order; however Turkey did believe it would be better if a private organisation administered the water on the island, nevertheless, this was not a new issue.

Talat noted out that the official inauguration ceremony for the water project will take place on 28th October but no official contact between Turkey and himself had been made yet on the issue, since until now, all contact was at technical level. Asked if they would take a step back from the independent water administration idea if Turkey insisted, Talat said he did not want to say whether or not they would take a step back but the important thing here was “our own values”.

Chairman of the Communal Democratic Party Cemal Ozyigit stated, that the water transferred from Turkey should be administrated by the local authorities and called on the government to take a clear stance on the issue. He also said that despite the fact that the topic had come to the agenda in 2008, neither of the Turkish Cypriot parties, who have come to power since that date have managed to take a decision on the issue.

BRT, Yeni Duzen, Halkin Sesi

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