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Giant steps in TRNC transportation sector

Kemal Bağzıbağlı, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, visited Ankara with his delegation and spent 2 days with the Deputy Ministers of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Interior.

Firstly, Deputy Undersecretary Bağzıbağlı met with Deputy Ministers of Transport and Infrastructure Ömer Fatih Sayan, Enver İskurt and Selim Dursun, and later met with Deputy Minister of Interior Muhterem İnce.

Within the framework of official contacts, opinions were exchanged on existing and planned projects in the fields of highways, telecommunication, civil aviation, ports, postal and coastal safety, which fall under the responsibility of the TRNC Ministry.

Highways :

It has been agreed to solve the shortage of appropriations in the existing projects in the TRNC and to make significant progress up to the end of 2019 for the projects that eliminate the problem of expropriation. In this context, the progress payment problem was solved for Proyap İnşaat Anonim Şirketi, the contractor company in the construction of Değirmenlik-Girne split road, and the project is to continue without interruption. Girne East and Girne West Ring Road projects, Güzelyurt-Lefke Ring Road, the remaining part of the North Nicosia Ring Road, the remaining part of the Iskele-Çayırova road was discussed and decided on the steps to be taken. In addition, during the meeting of the TRNC delegation, work was started on the tendering of small-scale road construction projects in the TRNC. In addition to the ongoing projects, Mevlevi-METU, which was planned according to the needs of the country, Ercan Airport – Nicosia, İskele Boğaztepe crossing projects are included in the 2019 calendar. It is aimed to complete the route and survey project processes by the end of the year. In addition, preparations for the 2020-2030 TRNC Master Plan were reviewed.

Telecommunications:

Undersecretary Bağzıbağlı, while communicating the policy established on the future of the Telecommunications Department during the negotiations, within the framework of the cooperation of the restructured Telecommunications Department and the private sector, the plan to convert the copper cable to fibre optic cable by the end of 2020 was submitted. In addition, the work of fibre optic line length to reach 2500km across the country was confirmed by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey. In addition, in 2020, 5G services can be provided, the subject of the tender for technology independent frequency and the road map was transmitted to the authorities of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey. At this point, our planning that the main transmission backbone will definitely remain under public control and will not be transferred in any way was confirmed once again.

Civil Aviation :

Significant steps were taken on the important issues under the title of Civil Aviation. Ercan Airport buildings within the framework of the further development of the ability of our current air traffic control, Turkey was included in the development program in general. Especially in the frequency shortages experienced in recent years it was agreed that a technical team from Turkey DHMI will provide support.

A detailed obstacle study for Ercan Airport and the completion of the shortcomings in RNAV were scheduled. It was agreed to make improvements regarding accommodation and similar problems encountered by air traffic controllers serving in our country during their training period. In addition to these developments, our studies on making more flight frequencies to our country were shared with the related parties. Particularly, the information that we have continued for a long time towards the resumption of Ercan – Trabzon flights has reached a positive point.

Formulas regarding not exceeding certain levels and increasing air ticket prices, which increased with the effect of the imbalance in exchange rates recently, were shared with the relevant parties. Within this framework, a study will be initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey and an improvement will be made for Ercan flights. A new cooperation agreement was initiated between the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC Civil Aviation Department, covering the years 2019-2020-2021 and including in-service training and equipment grants.

Shipping :

The latest situation and road map regarding the modernization and restructuring of Famagusta and Girne ports, which were carried out by our Ministry, within the framework of public-private cooperation were shared with the ministry officials in Ankara, where technical and administrative specifications for both ports are under preparation and the first tender will be announced in December 2019. In the cruise tourism development plan to be followed by the modernization of our ports of Girne and Famagusta port of call in Turkey and should be done in consultation about initiatives in international markets. In addition, the Department of Maritime Affairs was informed about the work to be undertaken. A roadmap on the modernization of the ports in Famagusta and Girne within the framework of public-private cooperation was discussed.

Coastal Safety :

At the meetings in Ankara, in order to increase the safety of our coasts and land waters, Coastal Safety and Ship Rescue Co. Ltd. strengthening issues were also discussed with Selim Dursun and his delegation. In this context, Bağzıbağlı stated that the authorization problems that caused significant delays in the Ship Traffic Services System (VTS) project have been solved and that the towers and central building installations are aimed to be completed by the end of 2019. In addition, as a result of previous consultations, towards the end of July, a new ship of Coastal Safety and Ship Rescue Co. Ltd. will join the fleet. With the participation of the new ship, the company, which currently serves at Famagusta and Girne, will also add Karpaz, which is of high strategic importance, to its service points.

Mail – Postal Services :

Efforts were made to create a new “mail processing centre” within the framework of more efficient routing of increased traffic to maintain postal services. A calendar was also prepared in order to update both the new centre and the ongoing studies in line with the technological developments in the world. In this context, PTT A.Ş. and the TRNC Postal Office will sign a new cooperation protocol.

Traffic Measures :

Undersecretary Kemal Bağzıbağlı held a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Security of the Ministry of Interior, Muhterem İnce. During the meeting, drivers of vehicles while under the influence of substances with the detection and control of measurement devices in traffic and the relevant legal regulation was discussed. In addition, information has been shared about the electronic inspection systems that have been implemented by the General Directorate of Security. It was agreed that the technological applications should be started as soon as possible. In this context, a technical committee will visit our country in order to determine needs.

Deputy Minister Ince stated that they are ready to provide any kind of support on this issue and on the same day instructed the relevant departments to provide such support.

The General Directorate of Police Traffic Director Huseyin Kadir Cete accompanied Bağzıbağlı at the meeting. After the meeting, Hüseyin Çete held a technical meeting with the relevant departments.

It is decided that the delegations of both sides will elaborate on all issues discussed within the framework of the meetings and the Minister of Public Works and Transportation Tolga Atakan and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure of Turkey Mehmet Cahit Turhan will come together and sign various agreements within the framework of the agreed issues.

During his contacts in Ankara, Undersecretary Bağzıbağlı, was accompanied by Telecommunication Department Manager Enis Elagöz, Highways Department Manager Serhan Kazmacı, Civil Aviation Department Manager Mustafa Sofi, Ports Department Manager Oran Soyel, PGM Traffic Manager Hüseyin Kadir Çete, Civil Aviation Department Air Traffic Controller Branch Deputy Chief Ahmet Kaptan and Highways Department Survey Project Branch Officer Arkın Şansalan.

Source Ministry of Public Works and Transportation