Operators and regulatory boards on the Turkish Cypriot side have completed all efforts to honour the agreement reached by President Mustafa Akıncı and the President of the Greek Cypriot Administration, Nicos Anastasiades, regarding mobile telephony operability across the island, Meltem Onurkan Samani, General Coordinator of Technical Committees has said.
Samani stated that all the technical, political and legal stakeholders on the Turkish Cypriot side were ready for island-wide interconnectivity of mobile telephones.
Last Wednesday, the European-based telecommunications company Comfone officials met with experts from both sides. Comfone officials made it very clear to Greek Cypriot officials that mobile phones, operated on both sides by the agreed method, does not pose any technical and political problems. It is now expected that operational procedures with the political wing of the Greek Cypriot side, will begin.
Samani stated that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready four years ago, but the Greek Cypriot side expressed concerns about some technical and legal issues that are politically based.
Ms Samani said in a statement to BRT, that they hoped the studies regarding the use of mobile phones in the TRNC and Southern Cyprus would now come to an end.
Samani said, “We insisted on the realisation of the agreement for the mutual use of mobile phones. The issue is not only a human issue, but also a step that is very suitable as regards confidence-building measures”.
She pointed out that there can be no rational explanation for not finding a solution to this problem.
“We encountered various difficulties for four years. Firstly, there is a political problem and if we cooperate, there will be the familiar phobia about the TRNC being recognised. We have been talking on mobile phones all over the world for years. They said some regulations in their legislation were an obstacle. For each mobile phone, they produced two SIM cards, one in the north and one in the south. Then they wanted to deal directly with Turkey, not one of our operators. In order to overcome this obstacle, we developed a solution in 2015, which has been confirmed by the EU Commission and UN experts, using a hub in Europe, whereby two-party operators make separate agreements.
“This solution, which was found in 2015, was approved by the EU Commission officials and UN experts and was confirmed by the leaders meeting on 26 February”.
Samani said that they expect this agreement to be put into practice without any delay.
Recalling that the main purpose and mission of confidence-building measures is to build trust through increasing intercommunication. She said, imagine that you are travelling from south to north or from north to south for inter-communal contact or communication, but you lose communication with the people where you live, and you lose communication with your own family. There is no rational explanation for our failure to solve such a problem. For this reason, we have been the persistent side on this issue.