Geçitkale airport has become dilapidated and abandoned since Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir rented the property, “selling the dream that cargo planes could land at the airport”. Since which time, Nadir has made neither an investment in the area nor has he paid a single cent in rent, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi writes.
The airport, which was used temporarily as the country’s primary civilian airport between 2002-4 while Ercan was being renovated, has had no planes land on it since 2004. The state has lost over 135 million TL in rents, the report says.
The state is deprived of taxes, employment and indirect income from the project. The state-owned property is rented to a private company and not one penny of rent has been paid. Meanwhile, Asil Nadir, whose credit was provided by the Development Bank, has remained silent on the matter.
In a rare first move, when the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was in government, it had high-voltage lines installed in the region. The presence of the power lines prevent the use of Geçitkale as an airport. Asil Nadir said that he would re-locate the power lines. During his trial and imprisonment in the UK, the TRNC government did not impose any sanctions on Nadir, in view of his past services to the country. However, in recent years, nothing has been done.
Geçitkale has become a ghost airport.