Geopolitical Research Institute(GRI)/Εταιρεία Γεωπολιτικών Ερευνών(ΕΓΕ)

Τρίτη, 25 Ιανουαρίου 2011

A Turkish analysis for the northern Cyprus economic situation

As a matter of fact the problem in northern Cyprus is political not economic. An incapable government and a sluggish political system operate in Cyprus today. Furthermore, there are alternatives to neither, and this has been the case for a long time.

The structure has created an economy based on donations as Turkish Cypriots have turned into beggars. The economy in the northern Cyprus survives through Turkey’s support.

This is the reality that has created a single focal point; which is to increase aid from Turkey and for Turkey to have a say in its distribution.

More clearly though, politics in northern Cyprus has simply been built on unearned income which poisons both politics and the economy.

In the current system neither private sector, nor planning and programming, nor dreams exist. For most people, politics and trade unions are what is important, to earn bigger shares from Ankara and to spend without earning or producing anything.

With this, Turkey is actually harming Turkish Cypriots because money keeps this corrupted system with no future alive.

As long as money is transferred to northern Cyprus, unless the Cypriot system hits the bottom, Turkish Cypriots will not try to come up with formulas for salvation. Politicians in office representing the state today will set obstacles before the entire finance discipline and reform programs Turkey imposes.

Under these circumstances, it is futile to seek negotiations with Greek Cypriots. For if an agreement is reached, even by chance, and if a federal state is established, Greek Cypriots will leave their Turkish cohabiters way behind.

The internal dynamics of northern Cyprus

In the south, there is a European Union member country which is well-organized, institutionalized, sober and prosperous. In the north, there is an economy which is still in the intensive care unit, so to speak. Other than prostitution and gambling sector, there is nothing in the north that can compete with the economy operated by the Greek Cypriots.

Obviously, considering the internal dynamics northern Cyprus cannot make any reforms and set-up a market economy to rise on its own two feet.

Political parties will never take measures to set the economy on a healthy ground and get involved in cooperation voluntarily.

They don’t have the power.

In this case, Turkey will either keep paying northern Cyprus’ bills or withdraw support to teach them a lesson, or push Turkish Cypriots into the corner for self-healing.

The most realistic approach

The best strategy would be to leave northern Cyprus alone to its fate. But I don’t think Ankara will do that. Then, the most realistic approach is the latter.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should create some time and sit together with party leaders in northern Cyprus. He should convince them to support the protocol signed between Turkey and northern Cyprus a few months ago. Necessary reforms should be done with political and economic support in addition to the assistance of all political parties in northern Cyprus.

I don’t think anyone else can do this.

If Turkish Cypriots are not given a wake-up call, their fate is known: either being wiped out by immigrants from Turkey or by Greek Cypriots
Source : Hurriyet Daily News

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