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Turkish water supply shut off only temporary

21 November 2015

Director of Turkey’s Water Affairs Department, responsible for the water project in North Cyprus, Birol Cinar, yesterday issued a written statement regarding the water supply from Turkey.

He denied that the Turkish water authorities had deliberately shut off the water supply to the recently built dam in Gecitkoy in the North as a means of coercing the North to agree to Turkey’s wish to manage the distribution of the water.

Cinar explained that filling the dam could not be untaken in one step. The process of filling the dam had to be halted temporarily to make routine tests. “When the construction is completed and water runs into each dam, several tests should be made. Controls are made to test the safety of the reservoirs and for leaks and this is why the flow of water to the dam in Gecitkoy stopped,” the ministry’s announcement said.

Noting that water from Turkey’s Anamur dam had begun flowing to North Cyprus on 1st October, he denied allegations in the press that the water supply had been shut off because of a dispute between the mainland and the TRNC over who should manage the water supply, once it reached the island.

Turkey wants to use a private company using a build, operate, transfer model to manage the water. Meanwhile, the TRNC municipalities insist that it is their right to manage the water and subsequently formed a company, BESKI to undertake those responsibilities.

However currently, BESKI is casting about for funding since many of the local councils are deep in debt. Their situation has been made worse because reportedly, Turkey has withheld funding to the local councils as a result of the water management dispute.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’, Cinar has warned politicians that if the water management issue is not clarified soon, the project will be jeopardized.

The project director added that there is no technical problem with the pipelines and the water pumps, and noted that testing works will be concluded in 15 days.

Kibris Gazetesi, Havadis, Diyalog

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