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Coalition government could split over water admin dispute

13 November 2015

TRNC Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu, has said that his government has sent a file which includes their views on the issue of the administration of the water supplied from Turkey to officials in Turkey.

Kalyoncu, in a statement to ‘Yeni Duzen’, said that they are waiting for Turkey’s reply, adding that there has been no development yet and they expect to sit at the negotiating table after the new government in Turkey is formed.

He noted that in the meantime, they have prepared a draft-law regarding the establishment of a water board, but it has not been approved by the Council of Ministers yet. He said that they were waiting for the congress of their minor coalition partner, the National Unity Party (UBP), to end in order to discuss the issue and reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, the paper writes also that for some days now, the water has stopped flowing in to the dam at Gecitkoy. The director of the project at Turkey’s State Water Affairs Department, Birol Cinar has said that they are cleaning the pumps and the water will begin flowing again on 14th November.

In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ reports that some municipalities’ members of BESKI company, which was established by the Turkish Cypriot municipalities’ union after demanding the right to manage the water supply, have begun to fear that these debates on the administration of the water will negatively influence their investment funds from Turkey.

Turkish Cypriot columnist Basaran Duzgun writes in his column in ‘Havadis’ that the reason for the issue being discussed only behind the scenes at the moment is the absence of a government in Turkey and recalls that Ankara had stated that it is in favour of the privatisation of the administration of this water, while the TRNC government supports the establishment of a water board and the administration of the water by BESKI.

Duzgun notes that the main problem is that it could cause a major split in the government. There are many high ranking UBP officials who do not approve of the plan put forward by the CTP, the major coalition partner.

“There are members of the cabinet who even say that the water issue might bring down the government”, writes Duzgun concluding that the debates could turn into a “war” with many casualties.

Yeni Duzen, Havadis

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