An Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement was signed between the TRNC and Turkey. The agreement, which includes 2 billion 288 million 976 thousand TL grants and loans, aims to heal the wounds caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the TRNC economy.
Prime Minister Tatar signed the agreement by negotiating in the teleconference system with Turkey Vice President Fuat Oktay, with the system established in the Prime Ministerial Council Hall.
In his speech prior to signing, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar thanked those who contributed to the protocol, stressing that the agreement they made with teleconferences was beneficial on such a Bayram Feast day.
Stating that it is a program that has been continuing for a long time and has been complicated due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Tatar said, “By turning all the important work and sacrifices made into an opportunity during the Coronavirus situation, the structure of the TRNC is reaching a safer future and prosperity.
Stating that this has an economic and financial dimension and a financial transfer of approximately 2.3 billion TL, Tatar said that after the 750 million TL program signed on 20 July 2019 when they first came to government, a transfer of 3 billion TL was in question in this period, for strengthening the infrastructure and competitiveness of the TRNC.
Tatar said that the important thing is to strengthen the sectors in which the TRNC is comparatively advantageous by strengthening the real sector and infrastructure, achieving success in tourism and higher education and foreign sales in the field of housing, and making agricultural work sustainable. Tatar said that he believes that these efforts are very important for the sustainable competitiveness structure of the TRNC by completing the water project, making progress in natural gas and electricity by cable, and bringing the energy costs in the TRNC to the desired target.
Tatar thanked Oktay for the support of Turkey and noted that as a result of the TRNC public’s compliance with the decisions and regulations made by the government on time, success was shown during the Coronavirus epidemic period. As a result of this, Tatar stated that TRNC has successfully overcome the Coronavirus epidemic, from which world countries still continue to suffer, and creates hope for the future of the TRNC.
Tatar expressed that TRNC tourism and higher education increases the high grade value in the island and it will contribute to a stronger status, and noted that Turkey has become more meaningful with support in this environment.
Reminding that tourism and higher education caused losses in economic income as a result of the precautions taken by putting health first in this process, Prime Minister Tatar said that they will make it easier with financial support, with the efforts and measures being taken during the normalisation process.
Ersin Tatar stated Turkey’s support of the TRNC and Eastern Mediterranean has strengthened the TRNC economy to ensure prosperity and will continue to work to ensure a healthy life after the coronavirus epidemic and the struggle for existence.
Republic of Turkey Vice President Fuat Oktay said “Turkey and the TRNC Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement” was designed with a strong future projection to support the damage caused by the new type of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In his speech during the video conference, “Turkey and the TRNC Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement Signing Ceremony” Oktay stressed the importance of continuing to comply with the measures in the fight against COVID-19, and pointed out that many developed countries are experiencing serious problems in the fight against COVID-19, where economy, production and trade relations are affected. Oktay also said, “While the world was going through such a difficult test, the TRNC showed an example of a totally admirable struggle by its government and its citizens.” Oktay, stated that the determined attitude of the TRNC government has revealed an important success story with the support of the Turkish Cypriot people, and noted that there had been no positive case in TRNC for more than a month.
Oktay stated that thanks to early and effective crisis management measures taken under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the spread of the epidemic in Turkey has been largely eliminated and normalisation steps are being taken, and said the following:
“Turkey did not forget to extend its hand with help in this process with access to health care supplies, particularly where serious difficulties were experienced in friendly countries. We sent medical equipment and masks to 82 countries, including 21 NATO countries. Above all, we have been with the TRNC primarily and as a requirement of our brotherhood, we have wholeheartedly mobilised our opportunities for the needs of Turkish Cypriots. Masks, disinfectant, protective clothing and food package support were provided by our Ministry of Health and Red Crescent. We also facilitated the delivery of medical supplies to the TRNC.”
Recalling that they sent 3 fire fighting helicopters to respond to forest fires in the TRNC last week, Oktay underlined that they will continue to be with the TRNC and Turkish Cypriot people regardless of the circumstances. He also announced that they had put one of the firefighting helicopters at the nearest point to TRNC against a future new fire risk.
Oktay said that the measures taken against the COVID-19 outbreak has affected the economy of TRNC as well as many other countries. “The epidemic process once again demonstrated the importance of the reforms that should be made in the economy management of the TRNC.” Oktay said:
“At this time when recovery and normalisation has started in many regions and the tourism season is reopening, I strongly believe that all parts of Northern Cyprus will support the new breakthrough process and will turn this crisis period into an opportunity for the TRNC. When preparing the new normalisation structure, following the effects of the epidemic, Turkey, as in the past, will continue to be with the TRNC.
For the welfare of the Turkish Cypriot people, we are determined to take the necessary steps together seriously and without losing time to bring the TRNC to a sustainable economy. We will continue to carry out new projects shoulder to shoulder by completing concrete projects such as roads, water networks and hospitals, which were launched last year and with previous agreements.”
Oktay stated that the agreement they will sign is the concrete engagement of President Erdoğan’s support for the Turkish Cypriot people.
Oktay said: “After months of meticulous work the result was the ‘ARMA model’ as we call ‘Turkey-TRNC Infrastructure and Corporate Sector for Financial Collaboration Tool’, and together we aim to carry out the project processes in the TRNC more efficiently and thus increase the added value of the projects. Thanks to the ‘ARMA Model’ that we will implement with the support of the TRNC government, we aim to keep pace with the changing world in the TRNC faster and to gain qualified projects that will directly contribute to economic growth and development in the TRNC.”
Stating that the financial resources will be transferred to TRNC, Oktay said, “With the agreement, we transfer the financial resources amounting to 2 billion 288 million 976 thousand TL in the form of grants and loans. In addition the expenditures of the agreement includes, defense, infrastructure and real sector investments, the Tourism COVID-19 Outbreak Support Program, Rural Development and Social Work Project, Agricultural Investment Support and Agricultural Credit Program, and the Credit Program for Industrialists and Small Tradesmen.
Pointing out that there will be new opportunities for the TRNC economy after the epidemic process, Oktay said, “The Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement in 2020 will be the rising ground of the TRNC and our brotherhood, which has been prepared strongly for the new normalisation. The post COVID-19 era offers opportunities, opening opportunities and new channels for cooperation in the TRNC. As a result the TRNC will be directed to a strategic breakthrough and with the support of the existing potential in Turkey will be much more clear and bright.”
Fuat Oktay expressed his sincere belief that by acting with the awareness of brotherhood, they can make the TRNC more economically sound, prosperous and competitive.
“As long as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community is of one heart, as it has always been, in this region, there can be no other factor to have an effect on our legal system. While we protect our legitimate rights and interests arising from international law in the Eastern Mediterranean, we draw our strength from our unity, solidarity and brotherhood. At this point, we continue our efforts and support on the basis of international legitimacy in seeking solutions to all conflicts that may cause permanent instability in the region.”
Stressing that the international community should persuade the Greek Cypriot Administration to fair sharing and dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot side for the solution of the hydrocarbon resources issue in the region, Oktay concluded his speech as follows:
“The solution of the Cyprus issue cannot be overcome without political equality between the parties on the Island. With our belief in the national cause, we will continue the struggle for rights and equity until the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriot people have been delivered and our Turkish Cypriot brothers have achieved political equality on the Island. We will continue to do our best as the motherland and guarantor country so that Turkish Cypriots can continue to live in peace, tranquility and prosperity by looking to the future with confidence. Those who think otherwise are doomed to be disappointed, as always.”
Source: (Turkish) TRNC Public Information Office