Kyrenia Council has sent an open letter to the Ministry of Tourism, saying that KIBTEK had cut off the electricity to the sewage pumping station in the old harbour in Kyrenia. This had been done because of non-payment of electricity bills.
Kyrenia Council stated that as the Ministry had taken over the running of the pumping station they ought to pay the overdue bills. They urged the Ministry to do so promptly as there would soon be public health issues and also because the tourist season was starting.
Over the past two days, in typical style, the situation has got muddier. That there is an unpaid electricity bill of TL 140,000, is undisputed, however, the Ministry has responded by saying that sewage services are the responsibility of the council and that they should pay the bill.
The shopkeepers and restaurateurs around the old harbour are not impressed with this game of ping pong and are insisting that the bill be paid urgently. They say that the sewers are close to full and that smells are already wafting out. They point out that for years they have been paying specifically for sewage services and ask where all that money has gone.
Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Esref Unlusoyer admits that the Ministry of Tourism took over some functions around the old harbour in January 2012. However, he says that this was limited to buildings, moorings and the yachts. He points out that Kyrenia council have recently undertaken sewage pipe works around the castle and that this was done without permission. He does not understand how they can now claim to have no responsibility for sewage services.
He insists that council services were not taken over and that the sewage pumping stations are all the responsibility of the council.
Caglayan Cesurer, head of EL-SEN, the electricity workers union, now enters the scene. He says that the two warring parties need to resolve their dispute urgently. He is not interested in the arguments, just as long as the bill is paid. He points out that councils have been warned for months about unpaid electricity bills and been offered easy payment terms, which they have ignored. He feels that as the name on the bill is Kyrenia Council, they are responsible for its payment.