The Economic Programme 2013-2015 between Turkey and the TRNC was signed this afternoon.
The headline of the programme is that Turkey will contribute TL 3 billion to the TRNC, a figure inline with previous expectations. The Prime Minister, Irsen Kucuk, disclosed that Turkey had given assurances that it would stand by its ally, the TRNC. The basis of the Economic Programme is to increase the welfare and living standards of the Turkish Cypriot people, action that will be carried out via major investments in the local economy.
These investments will be shifted away from funding the current account from which state salaries and pensions are paid – news that will do little to ease tensions of the currently striking council workers. Instead emphasis would be given to manufacturing and private sector investments. By providing a substantial increase of 50% over previous investment levels, Turkey hopes to reduce unemployment and increase the standard of living for TRNC residents.
Prior to the announcement, little was known about the content of the programme, even by top TRNC officials including the Finance Minister.