Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay has said that the Greek Cypriot Administration’s actions, whether aimed at protecting its own economic interests or at hurting the Turkish Cypriot economy, damaged relations between the two sides.
Referring to the recent measures taken by Greek Cypriot authorities to prevent Greek Cypriots from buying fuel when crossing over to the TRNC, Özersay said that such moves opposed efforts aimed at building trust and confidence between the two sides on the island.
He said that such moves pushed the Turkish Cypriot side to take measures on the issue as well as other matters.
In a statement posted on social media, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that whenever the Greek Cypriot side wanted to take actions to hurt the Turkish Cypriot economy or to prevent anything which might benefit Turkish Cypriots, it resorted to the excuse that goods or services sold in the TRNC did not meet required standards.
“To hide behind this excuse! They have now launched a crackdown on those buying fuel in the North with the claim that the fuel sold here is under their standards. Is the standard of the fuel upgraded when Turkish Cypriots fill up their cars in the North and crossover to the South? Does the standard of the fuel sold here fail to meet the South’s standards when its price is cheaper?” asked Özersay.
The TRNC Foreign Minister also said that a similar excuse had been put forward when tiles purchased from the North were used in a school building in South Cyprus, only to be pulled out on grounds that they failed to meet the necessary ‘standards’.
Özersay also gave the examples of how the Greek Cypriot Administration created excuses not to allow tourists to be transferred to South Cyprus using Turkish Cypriot buses or to deny visitors from third countries at Larnaka airport.
He said that the intention to hurt the Turkish Cypriot economy or to prevent Turkish Cypriots from benefitting economically were behind these excuses.