Recent statements made by the Transportation and Communications Minister Hasan Tacoy about the intention to privatise all TRNC ports, has created shockwaves in the TRNC, ‘Yeni Duzen’ reports. Famagusta port is top of the list for privatisation.
Commenting on the issue, Vargin Varer, economist and deputy chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade said, inter alia, that the current structure of the Famagusta port is not sustainable. He, however, pointed out that privatisation of the port is not the right solution and proposed the changing of the port’s structure in order to be able to provide services other than imports and exports.
On the same issue, Yiltan Ozkirac, member of the shipping agents’ union said that he does not oppose privatisation in general but as regards the privatisation of the Famagusta port he said that it is unacceptable. He said that the privatisation of Famagusta port with its current structure would be wrong.
In addition, the leader of Guc-Sen trade union Erol Emin strongly condemned the privatisation of the port and said that the port belongs to the people.
Pointing to the strategic and cultural importance of Famagusta port since as it was the first port in Cyprus, Erol expressed the view that it would be a mistake to proceed to the privatisation of the port, especially at a time when intensified negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem are in progress.
Erol called on the government to take a step back on this issue and stressed the need for a master plan to be implemented so that the port could become sustainable.
Moreover, the chairman of the administration board of the port workers’ company, Serhan Tekkan, said that they were informed about the privatisation of the port by the press and asked for an appointment with minister Tacoy to discuss the issue.
He further said that the privatisation of the port would mean an increase in the market price of goods, which would negatively effect the country’s economy.