Turkish Cypriot premier hails 'historic protocol’ with Türkiye
Protocol includes building 26 schools, 3 hospitals, health, national, earthquake centers
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Unal Ustel hailed late Friday the "historic protocol" on cooperation with Türkiye.
It was signed at a ceremony at the Rauf Raif Denktas Culture and Congress Center in Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta.
The 2023 Financial and Economic Cooperation Protocol signed by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on behalf of Türkiye and Ustel on behalf of the TRNC includes building 26 new schools, three hospitals, health center, national disaster and an earthquake center.
Ustel said the deal has contributed to energy, transportation, agriculture, working life, public finance, industry and technology for Turkish Cyprus. It is "historic" and Turkish Cypriots will never forget Türkiye's support, he said.
Stating that the names of TRNC students who were killed in the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes in Türkiye will be given to some of the 26 schools planned to be built this year, Ustel said the 9.5 billion lira ($495 million) financial resource that will be reached with the support of Türkiye will ensure economic stability in the country, strengthen the financial structure and announced that it will be used in the implementation of projects of vital importance to the public.
500-bed hospital to be built in Lefkosa
Ustel said the tender processes for a 500-bed hospital, which is planned in the capital, Lefkosa, within the framework of protocol, is completed and construction has begun.
He noted that projects for the completion of ongoing hospitals Guzelyurt and Girne, and the construction of a new health center in Pamuklu have been put into the protocol.
Resources allocated for zoning plan studies
Stating that there are various articles in the protocol, which includes the financial and economic cooperation between Türkiye and the TRNC to make his cities resistant to earthquakes and disasters, Ustel pointed out that the first is the establishment of the TRNC National Disaster and Earthquake Center and the transfer of resources to development plan studies to be carried out throughout the country.
He said financial resources allocated for the strengthening of civil defense and firefighting teams of the TRNC against a possible earthquake or disaster are included in the protocol.
"The Republic of Türkiye is a great and powerful state. The Turkish Cypriot people are happy and honored to be the brothers of such a great and powerful state. The power of Türkiye gives us strength. The fact that Türkiye is with us gives us confidence." he said.
Ustel said the smart intersection project was designed to be installed at important crossing points in the city and rural areas to ease traffic across the country and took its place in the protocol.
Pointing out that relations between the TRNC and Türkiye have always been based on brotherhood, Ustel said with the signed protocol, his country will continue to walk confidently into the future by strengthening its bond of love with Turkey.
"The relations between the TRNC and Türkiye are vital, not financial. Those who see these relations only as financial will make a big mistake," he said.
"If we want to transform the economy into a developed state that lives freely and in security, we must create all the necessary conditions for a sustainable economy without breaking the rational mind and without populism. We must pave the way for our business people, industrialists, entrepreneurs and investors. That's the essence," he said.
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