Sunday, 2 April 2023
The identity, culture and political will of the Turkish Cypriot people are being mortgaged, president of the civil servants’ union KTAMS Güven Bengihan told Yeniduzen.
Bengihan was referring to the economic and financial protocol signed with Turkey. He said that the contents of the protocol should be discussed in parliament first.
He noted that his union had not seen the text of the protocol as yet.
“You do not discuss this in the parliament beforehand and do not consult with the deputies, so do not be surprised by the reactions and actions that will follow“.
He pointed out that the diplomatic relations between Turkey and the TRNC should be respectful and understanding. His union had no issue with the Turkish state or its people, Bengihan emphasised. His criticism was of the political decisions being made.
Bengihan said that KTAMS will be at the forefront against those who try to destroy the identity, culture and political will of the country, and will keep the hopes of the people strong.
Earthquake Resistant Buildings
Since the recent earthquakes in Turkey, which claimed the lives of thousands, attention has focused, once again, on the state of public buildings in the TRNC.
Bengihan said the following:
“In our country, studies on the earthquake resistance of public buildings, especially schools and hospital buildings, revealed that most of them were buildings before 1974 and were not earthquake resistant. There are reports that others need to be strengthened as well. Within the framework of these reports, in order to raise funds for the construction of new buildings, the government prepared a law to make deductions from pensioners, private sector employees and public employees, and anyone with a salary of more than 15,000 TL.
“During this time, some schools in Famagusta started providing education in tents. These children were submerged by the rain water when it rained, the wind came up the other day, the tents were blown away. Our children cannot use their right to education. Our children, who are our future, cannot be provided with the necessary education, buildings, or investments”.
Teaching has been transferred online until other arrangements are made to accommodate school children.
Bengihan was also critical of the timing of President Ersin Tatar’s trip to London made last week. He said that given the current situation in the country, he should remain present to give moral support.
“In the Corruption Perceptions Report, there are allegations that some senior executives are corrupt. In the report it was said that 350 business people openly state that they paid bribes. With the non-tender fuel purchases for the Teknecik Power Plant, the institution is incurring a loss of approximately seven million Euros. The fuel expenditures of Mr. Tatar 900,000 TL and Mr. Töre [Speaker of the House] 550,000 TL are also included in the 2023 budget.
“Tripartite decrees, appointments and consultant recruitment continue. In the meantime, they are asking for a cut from our salaries. On the other hand, Mr. Tatar goes to England and receives an advance of £27,000 for this. In addition, 45,000 TL is given per person for business class flights”.
Bengihan, however, also condemned the action of Greek Cypriots in London, who gathered outside Kings College to try and prevent President Tatar from entering the building.
He said, “However, on the other hand, we strongly condemn the attack of a group of spoiled, fascist youth in England against Mr. Tatar. No matter what they want, no one has the right to verbally attack another country’s political figure, whether they like it or not. While we say that we can live together in peace in our country and on our island, and we strive for this, we do not find it right for a group of pro-ELAM, fascist, spoiled young people to do this. And we strongly condemn this mentality, fascist, racist youth”.