Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.05.17) columnist Cenk Mutluyakali comments on the “labour force agreement” between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus as approved yesterday by the regime’s “assembly”. He reports, inter alia, the following:
“Another step has been taken. Another race towards the process of ‘becoming a province’. A new ‘TRNC-Turkey agreement’. It is called ‘labour force agreement’. The essence of the issue is ‘cheap labour force and exploitation of labour’. This is the ‘agreement of let more workers come’! Very well, what should the young people here do? They should study in the university, study further and sit with the diploma in hand! Or they should migrate!
Cooperation with Turkey should of course be held. However, [this should be done] after good evaluation, by taking lessons from the past. We have all together seen what happened in the citizenship policy. The ‘freedom of entering with identity card’ had hastily passed from the assembly. What happened next? While a law in the direction of the registration of the illegal labour force was being prepared, the next step was not taken into consideration. Tens of thousands of people came, brought their families, and then the ‘work process’ was turned into a ‘citizenship right’. The education and health infrastructure collapsed.
Our young people are unemployed in spite of the fact that they have many diplomas! The children of those who have immigrated to the country 30 years ago are also unemployed. The labour force market has changed now. [?] And the workers are brought now under the disguise of ‘university students’ [?]”
Moreover, referring to the issue, columnist Levent Ozadam in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (16.05.17) expresses the view that the above-mentioned decision is wrong “if the TRNC is a state”. He reports that Turkey asks for some “laws” to pass, it even tightens the regime’s belt for a while if they do not pass and does not send money and that Turkey is the one which always prepares the “laws” which the regime should have prepared. He says that a long debate was held yesterday at the “assembly” and argues, inter alia, the following:
“The labour force in the TRNC will be secured from Turkey from now on! And our officials will be sidelined. That is, [?] those who want to work here will be registered at the labour offices in Turkey and then will come here and start working. I do not know how minister Saner is content about this! However, people who think like me are not content. If the TRNC is a state, and we accept it as such, I will be justified in looking for a hidden catch if the institutions of my state are side-lined on any issue, whatever this issue is!
Of course, there is also the following reality: Especially the investors coming from abroad cannot find a satisfactory number of employees here! Or the money asked by the employees here is too much. And this means that the workers brought here from Turkey will be taking a salary below the minimum wage which exists here! And because our officials will be sidelined, they will not be able to interfere. That is, this is a decision taken in favor of the bosses!”