Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir will be managing Gecitkale airport which will be used for cargo flights only.
The former boss of Polly Peck was arrested in the UK five years ago charged with embezzling nearly £30 million from his company. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. After he paid £5 million in compensation and repaid £2 million in legal aid fees he was sent to Turkey to complete his sentence under a prison transfer agreement. Shortly after he arrived in Turkey, he flew to North Cyprus, where he is expected to remain under house arrest for the remainder of his sentence.
Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’ reports that in a recent statement, Transport Minister Kemal Durust said that Nadir would have Gecitkale airport returned to him in order to manage the airport commercially. Currently Gecitkale is being used for Turkish military flights.
Durust said he wanted to use the airport as a centre for the import and export of goods.
“It is a great advantage for the Turkish Cypriots that our famous businessman has undertaken the management of the airport”, said Durust and added that the goal is for Gecitkale airport to be ready to operate by 2018. “Asil Nadir is among those who believe in their country. He is a person known worldwide. We, as the government, believe that we will return to Asil Nadir’s former days. He has stated that he would do all that is necessary for the development of the TRNC”, Durust noted.
Meanwhile, citing confidential information, the paper writes that Nadir aims to continue with investment not only in the TRNC but also in Turkey,as he gives great value to his ties with the mainland.