The Deputy of the Republican Turkish Party and previous President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Fikri Toros, has revealed that proposed cooperation between mobile phone operators on the two sides of the island was refused by the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades in 2015.

In his written statement, Toros responded to allegations by the former Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasulides on the potential “Confidence Building Measures”, specifically regarding the cooperation between the mobile phone operators both in the North and South Cyprus.

Toros recalled that during his tenure as the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce in 2015, a series of consultation meetings took place with the President of the Chamber of Greek Cypriot Commerce and Industry, in order to determine a cooperation model under the-then political conditions. Toros stated that meetings took place between telecommunication regulators from both sides of the island, as well as representatives from the Chief Prosecutor Office and the authorities from Telsim Vodafone and Turkcell, which operate in the North, and CYTA, Primetel and MTN, which operate in the South.

Following those consultations, which were carried out over a 3 month period, a model was developed which was approved by all the participants.

Toros continued: “Five telecommunications companies that operate in the island were due to make this jointly-agreed cooperation a reality, by making contact via the GSM Centre in Luxembourg. Unfortunately, although this model was accepted by President Akıncı, it was rejected by the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades who said there was a legal barrier. This is the real reason that the ‘Mobile Phone Interoperability’ model was not put into force.”