Water Management Deal with Turkey
The months of toing and froing and politicking over the management of the water pipeline from Turkey to the north seem to be over, with an agreement finally signed in Ankara this week.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ömer Kalyoncu and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu put their names the agreement, with Havadis newspaper reporting that both men highlighting to the importance of the water for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots as a “vehicle for peace and rapprochement”.
According to the agreement, the preparation of the final tender will need to be completed in three months, whilst the process itself will take a year.
A private company will distribute, collect payment and invest in the infrastructure, whilst the management will belong to an autonomous organisation. During this time, the Turkish Water Authority DSI will manage the water.
Speaking on his return, Kalyoncu said the agreement was a build-operate-transfer model based on a public-private cooperation. He added that one of the most discussed issues — underground water reserves and administration — would belong to the Turkish Cypriot administration.
Following the announcement of the signing, opponents claimed that the agreement had been nothing more than a ‘privatisation’ and blamed local officials for the outcome.
Several local media noted that Kalyoncu was given the ‘red carpet’ treatment and greeted with a state ceremony in Ankara.
The lack of agreement over the pipeline’s management was also preventing the signing of an economic protocol securing the annual tranche of funds from Turkey to North Cyprus.
Speaking on the matter, Kalyoncu said he and Davutoglu discussed the protocol and that the necessary steps to sign this would be made in the coming days.