| ECONOMY |Yenidüzen



There is a significant increase in Green Line Trade.
Two years ago, there was €6 million worth of sales from north to south; [today] this figure has exceeded €15 million.
Not in Turkish Lira, but in euros!
You know how people always say, “So what good did it do to say yes to the Annan Plan…”
This is the good it did!
I think €15m in a year is not a figure that can be neglected…

In 2020, we were selling goods worth €4.6m.
In 2021, this figure reached €6.1m.
And in 2022, this figure rose to €14,765,462.
A 141 per cent increase.

Total sales of nearly €5m occurred in the first four months of this year.
The most significant increase was observed in ready-made homes, offices, containers, and prefabricated buildings.
Construction materials, furniture and plastic products are also popular in the south.
The sale of fresh fish is also important and holds a significant share in the trade carried out under the Green Line Regulation…

As a result, both production and employment are growing…
As the Turkish Lira loses value, sales to the south are both boosting confidence and helping the economy grow.

There are also new initiatives…
Such as olives, olive oil, molasses, tahini, halva, jam and fruit juice…
The crossing of processed food is already included in the regulation.

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce is making efforts to ensure products such as potato chips, coffee, and lemonade are allowed too…

If potential products are also allowed, a much more significant volume of trade will emerge.
Green Line Trade contains a much stronger potential, there is a significant development,” says Aysun Onat İleri, General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce…
Of particular importance are her words: “An increase in economic relations and trade will allow further improvement of relations between the two communities, and the Chamber of Commerce is acting with this awareness.”
We discuss the process and developments during our two-hour conversation…
I note down her prediction: “As existing technical and bureaucratic problems regarding processed food are overcome, the volume will increase.”

So, what are these technical or bureaucratic problems?
For example, veterinary inspections at the crossing point, for crossing fresh fish to the south is limited to half an hour… What does 30 minutes a day mean?
Only between 2pm and 2.30pm…
What else?
Commercial vehicles weighing over 7.5 tons are still not allowed to cross.

Banks are still unable to conduct mutual transactions [between the two sides] regarding money transfers.
All of these are problems that can be easily overcome…

There are 170 companies or individuals that conduct commercial relations with the south based on the Green Line Regulation; 50 of them engage in regular trade.
This number can be increased.
As Cyprus discovers its shared potential, both the hope for reunification and the quality of life will increase…

[Photo inserts: A table is published listing the various goods sold through the regulation in 2022 along with the volume of trade in figures. The second photo is from the Metehan/Agios Dhometios crossing point in Nicosia]

To maximize the benefits of this revenue for society

There is an annual trade of €15m through the Green Line, and no taxes are paid.
However, the Republic of Cyprus collects taxes on sales from the south to the north…
Because it considers it as “domestic trade“.
I think in the north it is considered an “export to another country“…

Producers, manufacturers, and businesspeople do not want to be burdened with taxes, and they have their reasons…
The Chambers of Commerce are even against the taxes in the south.

Okay, but how are we going to build schools or hospitals on this half of the island?
With what money?

A special tax could be created for Green Line Trade.
And the following sensitivity could be shown:
This revenue would be collected in a special fund to be solely used for the construction of schools and hospitals, and in education and healthcare infrastructure.
Thus it cannot be used to pay salaries like other taxes!
In fact…

It would never be transferred to the “general budget”…
It would never share the fate of all the other funds…

What purpose does bringing teachers from Turkey serve?

We learned about the vacancies announced in Turkey for 116 teachers, from the statement of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union [KTÖS].
Whereas, there are dozens of unemployed teachers in our country…
You know how the union asks, “What purpose does bringing teachers from Turkey serve?”…

The purpose is clear…
To completely turn the northern part Cyprus into a “province“!
A “province” disguised as a “state“…
And to conceal this, a policy that the international community will never accept is being pursued…
In the bowing and scraping process of achieving equal and sovereign international status, both tenders and vacancies are being launched in Ankara!

An “architect” from Turkey is granted TRNC citizenship for drawing up the plans of the”Külliye” [Translator’s note: presidential and parliamentary complex pledged by the Turkish government on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot leadership…]
The Head of the Department of Religious Affairs, Ahmet Ünsal, famous for his fantasy of enslaving women, is also sent to the island in a similar move.
And a “President” and “Prime Minister” are assigned to be spectators to all this.

This siege will grow even further if we fail to achieve productivity, development, progress, and transformation in our own country and if we cannot let go of our comfort zones.
As we abandon areas of public service, others will replace us.

[Photo insert of a recent protest by Turkish Cypriots against Ankara]

Eligible users (!)

A debate is underway in the south over “commercial” properties owned by Turkish Cypriots.
8,800 plots!
35% of these properties have been given to individuals who are not eligible.
Those “eligible” are those who were displaced in the war or migrants…
They are given the right to use the properties, through leases…
“Symbolic” rental fees have become an issue.

There is talk about the monthly rental fee for a property in Larnaca that has remained €8.54 since 1985.
Newspapers report that the monthly rent for a 3,152 m2 Turkish Cypriot property in Nicosia, valued at €1.4m, is €417 and this fee has remained unchanged since 1976.

There is also an uncollected rental income of €8m.
How similar our agendas are!

If only we could also learn to whom, under what conditions, Greek Cypriot-owned commercial properties in the north were allocated…
If only the rental fees of our shores were disclosed, one by one…
And if we could also learn about the rightful owners…


Born in 1971 in the town of Limassol, Cyprus, Cenk Mutluyakalı migrated to Kyrenia together with his family after the war. He began journalism at KIBRIS newspaper in 1989. He took part in establishing the United Media Group. He was the Editor-in-Chief of YENİDÜZEN newspaper for 20 years between 2001-2021. He continues to write daily essays, news reports and interviews for Yenidüzen newspaper. He served as the President of the Turkish Cypriot Press Card Commission and Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association. He was awarded with various prizes throughout his career, the most recent being the “Peace Journalism Prize” by the bicommunal New Cyprus Association. Mutluyakalı is an author of published books of essays and interviews. He is also the author of a novel titled “Salıncak” (Swing) published by Kor Kitap and translated into Greek by Heterotopia Publications with the title «Η κούνια».

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