The rapid increase in cancer cases observed in the village of Yayla in the Güzelyurt region in recent years has caused concern for the locals.
In one week in Yayla, out of 870 residents, four people lost their lives to cancer. Village elder Murat Rüstemoğlu stated that the ages of the people who lost their lives were 45, 50, 60 and 65, and that about 30 people had died of cancer in the last 10 years.
Mukhtar Rüstemoğlu wants the authorities to form a committee of experts and to investigate why there are so many cases of cancer in the region.
Rüstemoğlu also stated that there are other cancer patients who live in the village, “We want to find what causes the disease. The people of the village are worried and we do not know what to do. There are two base stations in the village. The villagers are suspicious of these, but additionally, the village is located in orange groves, and when the trees are treated with insecticide, the chemicals permeate the village. This may be another factor, but we do not know, experts in this business must come and investigate and give us the answer,” he said.
Head of the Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Union Dr Kenan Arifoglu acknowledged that this was a very serious matter and said that the union would work to initiate the necessary research.
He said that mortality rates and statistical information needed to be compared. Other conditions in the region including water quality and many other factors needed to be studied. This was a matter for the Ministry of Health, he said.