People’s Party Chairman Dr. Kudret Özersay addressed a meeting of Turkish Cypriot ex-patriots in North London, last week.
He outlined the vision and the mission of the People’s Party (HP). Özersay explained that the only reason he was in London was to point out that the TRNC is governed by a bad administration and the key issue is how can this be remedied. There were plans that could be realised in the short term, he noted.
Özersay said that when he first formed the People’s Party, he visited every village in the TRNC to talk to locals about their experiences of life in the TRNC. Unfortunately, government ministers in the TRNC are unprofessional, which leads to poor management of state affairs. Ministers should be appointed from outside the political elite and replaced with qualified professionals, said Ozersay.
He pointed to nepotism, for example to the distribution of TRNC land to relatives of politicians and the farming out of construction contracts to friends or relatives without first issuing tenders.
Referring to the topic of granting TRNC citizenship, he said that instead of abiding by the rules of residency, the Council of Ministers is granting citizenship in a piecemeal fashion to garner votes. There was no regard for infrastructure and how the country could support a burgeoning population.
Özersay said also noted that TRNC citizens who had left the country had been both neglected and deceived. They had also been deprived of their voting rights. He would be offering a platform for those ex-pats living abroad and would give them a voice at the TRNC General Assembly. He was not looking for anything other than to get solidarity from TRNC ex-pats to address the dire need for change in the TRNC; to address the lack of professionally qualified leaders who essentially line their own pockets and fail to address the infrastructural and economic problems of the country.
In the course of research by the HP, it had been found that citizens living in the UK are experiencing serious delays because of bureaucracy, especially bureaucracy in the TRNC. This was hindering the delivery of services rendered by TRNC foreign representatives to register births and marriages, to process identity cards, passports, immovable property and documents. The cumbersome structure that exists in the civil service affects not only citizens living in the TRNC, but also TRNC citizens living abroad. The way out of this is to implement urgently, the e-government application system and ensure that applications that are made abroad are completed quickly. The vision of the People’s Party is to govern the country based on these kinds of premises, said Özersay.
Finally, Özersay mentioned the subject of military service and said, “Unfortunately, children of TRNC citizens who live abroad are obliged to do military service because they automatically become TRNC citizens at birth and if they do not want to do military service when they reach the age of 18, they are forced to surrender their citizenship.” Explaining that his party continues its work in this regard, and aims to use a logical framework to address the problems experienced by TRNC ex-pats.