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Time to sort out the water management issue

7 December 2015

In the wake of the ongoing dispute between the TRNC and Turkey about who should manage the water flowing from Turkey to the North, Turkish Cypriot journalist Yusuf Kanli writes that for once, he agrees with President Erdogan in that TRNC municipalities are overstaffed and inefficient at running their business. Writing in his column in ‘Hurriyet’, Kanli says that the TRNC water authority like the electricity authority is also virtually hamstrung into obsolescence by political partisanship.

He acknowledges that there are arguments in favour of sovereignty of the North and less dependency on the mainland, however he points out the value of the water supplied from Turkey’s Alakopru Dam by undersea pipelines; that it will boost the economy and create employment. It is understandable, he notes, that Turkey would like to recoup its investment by using a private company to manage water distribution in the TRNC. In addition, the Greek Cypriots would not want to buy water from a publicly run facility in the TRNC, but might do business with a private Turkish firm, even if there is no Cyprus settlement.

Turkey is not about to write off another bill owed by the North even though Turkey can afford to, he says. However, since the mainland has already provided 850/900 million US$, has it ever received any money back, he asks.

Next week, TRNC Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu is going to Ankara to discuss the issue, Kanli hopes that the PM will see sense, drop the ideology of the municipalities running the show and come to an agreement.

Hurriyet – For full text click here

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