Famagusta Degree Divides Communities

The Turkish Cypriot building contractors’ union have given the government a deadline ending on Tuesday to withdraw the decree for the development of Famagusta, Yeni Iskele and Yeni Bogazici. Otherwise the government will face “a yellow vest operation” in North Nicosia, the union warned during a press conference in Famagusta.

Attending the press conference, businessmen and the three mayors of the above-mentioned areas also opposed the decree. The business community object to the decree [which is a temporary amendment to agreed plans]because it limits high-rise development. The mayors of the three areas object because the building limits do not go far enough. They have accused the Ministry of the Interior of pandering to the business community.

Chairman of the building contractors’ union Cafer Gurcafer , said that Turgay Deniz, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, had called for a meeting today of all the economic organisations, which are active in the country. He added that the efforts which they would be exerting for the next five days would aim at abolishing the “monstrosity”, as he described the decree.

Referring to his organisation’s efforts for preparing a city plan for the Famagusta region, Gurcafer noted that they had undertaken research as to how such planning was made in Scotland, Malta, Turkey, South Cyprus, England and France. Adding that high-rise buildings existed all over the world, Gurcafer gave the example of a 30-storey building on Makarios Avenue in the South Nicosia.

He said that there was an annual demand for ten thousand homes in North Cyprus and that during the past three years, five thousand homes had been demanded by inhabitants of the TRNC and the other five thousand, by Turkish Cypriots living abroad and foreigners. According to Gurcafer, with horizontal development, ten thousand donums [A land measure of 1000 square meters] would be needed to supply a demand of ten thousand homes, but if development was vertical, only 300 donums would be needed.

Gurcafer further added that he and Interior Minister Aysegul Baybars  had shared the same views, until the catastrophic floods of last week.

Meanwhile, addressing the same press conference, Turgay Deniz, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, said that it was a mistake to blame businessmen for the death of four young persons during the floods and added that the decree limited investments and caused uncertainty, therefore it was not acceptable by the business community.