| Politics |Haber Kıbrıs



The country is truly being run poorly, crises, and fiascos are being experienced, and those governing are unable to come up with solutions.

At such times, it is said that “it wasn’t like this in the past,” and that things are getting worse instead of getting better.

Diyalog newspaper sought the views of five former politicians and four-five prime ministers who were members of the parliament at the founding of the TRNC, on what they think about the current government/administrators.

The members of the founding assembly emphasised that the country is in a very bad situation, that they are not at all satisfied with the current situation, that politics is not capable of solving problems, and there is a problem of authority, order and discipline in the country. As one of the former deputies nicely put it, “We did not build this state to be in the hands of 3-5 individuals.”

Former prime ministers also stated that the country was in a very bad situation due to administrative failures and incompetence, stating that consistent decisions were not being taken…

These ten individuals made the right assessments, what they said was true but unfortunately, neither our yesterday nor our recent history is full of success stories.

My word is not to these ten individuals who spoke to the newspaper, among them are those who are honourable, who in general have left a general positive mark in politics, whose names are not associated with any misdeeds, who are still admired and are spoken well of when their names are mentioned.

But truth be told, this country was never governed properly, no one really achieved what they set out to do, or had enough time to do so, however, most of them are responsible for failures, fiascos and other aberrations.

We are in a very bad state today but I have objections to praising the past…

You wouldn’t believe the things I have witnessed throughout my professional career. I have read and listened to many things about the times before I set out in this profession or when I was still young, unfortunately, our near past is also full of fiascos.

I too at times say that the senior bureaucrats of the past were more knowledgeable, had a better grasp of the work they were doing, were persons who could take on initiatives and that the problem of merit was not at its current levels. Today we see more sloppy directors being appointed.

However, we cannot say that the country’s administration was much better during the 80s and 90s.

When criticizing the current situation, we shouldn’t forget the fiasco of how people were granted “the right to early retirement after working for 10 years” as an election bribe. [Translator’s note: The National Unity Party (UBP) introduced an early retirement scheme in the late 80s]

Again, I would like to remind everyone of another election bribe whereby the absurd practice of “paying public servants in advance” was introduced.

Is it possible to forget how, in the early 90s, UBP distributed letters to hundreds of people, telling them “they had been hired”, how these people filled up the ministries and public offices, to the point where there weren’t enough seats for everyone, only to be shown the door a couple of days later resulting in the unemployment of dozens of private sector workers?

Is it possible to forget how those running the country in the 80s and 90s resorted to oppressive methods, how they scaremongered those working in particular in government institutions and departments, and how they threatened them?

Did we not see over the years how people were zealously hired to government offices and institutions, how the problem of “temporary workers” was created, how laws were then made to hire these people permanently only to see the same mistakes repeated after being told, “this issue has been solved, we won’t experience any more problems”?

Was it not a weakness of mismanagement that led Sanayi Holding to shut down, the country’s production capability taking a blow as a consequence?

How is it possible to explain the bankruptcy of Cyprus Turkish Airways (KTHY), and its closure as a management success?

Was the 2001 banking crisis, which resulted in the closure of 12 of the country’s banks, the absence of auditing, the result of great mismanagement?

Was the raid on St. Barnabas [monastery], whose culprits were known but which was written off as an unidentified attack, the murder of Kutlu Adalı, and the unidentified gun attacks or bombings a success story?

How can we forget about the fake contractors who popped up during the construction boom following the 2004 Annan Plan but then vanished into thin air after cheating people as well as those who still continue to suffer the consequences to this day? How quickly have we forgotten about the people, who despite having paid a good portion of their mortgages were kicked out of their homes screaming after the deeds to their houses were transferred to the banks? Are all these not examples of poor management?

Were there no internal disputes within the UBP in the past? Were the results of party congresses not disputed in court? Was the country not paralyzed because of these political quarrels? Did you forget the court battle between the late İrsen Küçük and Ahmet Kaşif in 2012 over the disputed results of the party congress?

These are just a few of the examples I can remember from the top of my head, I could come up with more but I guess you get the point I’m trying to make. The situation today is terrible but we cannot draw a pretty picture of the recent past, if we do so it means we are suffering from a loss of memory.

This society has endured much, why did people emigrate from here, why did they seek a life elsewhere? Why do you think they were left with no other choice but to leave this place?

What is disappointing is that we experienced most of the greater problems after the TRNC was formed. Not only were we isolated from the world, but we also ceased to produce anything,  we encouraged people to become civil servants, retreated to our small world and created a strange order that was unsustainable, where disorder became order or at least that was what we came to believe… And today we are still trying to keep this order going, constantly stumbling in the process…

Please let us not forget our near history which is full of failures. Because what we are experiencing today is because we failed to derive lessons from those failures and because we are insisting on continuing this structure.

Do not be fooled into believing that yesterday has nothing to do with today, you will actually see that the mentality hasn’t changed. What we are experiencing today is not very different, if you think so it is either because your memory is playing tricks on you or because you’re not old enough to remember.


Ali Baturay was born in Klavia (Alanici) village of Larnaca on 14 October 1968. He studied journalism. He holds a master’s degree focusing on “New Media and Changing Newspapers and Journalism in the Northern Part of Cyprus”. He worked for Halkın Sesi Newspaper between 1986-1995, for Yenidüzen Newspaper between 1995-1998 and for Kıbrıs Newspaper for 22 years, between 1998-2020. He worked as news director, managing editor and editor-in-chief at Kıbrıs Newspaper. He started working at the digital newspaper Haber Kıbrıs in February 2020. Currently, he works as the general editorial coordinator of Haber Kıbrıs. He writes daily columns and is the producer of a programme titled “Markaj” at Haber Kıbrıs Web TV during week days.

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