Republic of Cyprus contributes more than $700m to Turkish Cypriot community
The government of Cyprus, in line with its policy of providing Turkish-Cypriots with the benefits they are entitled to as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and in accordance with EU guidelines, has adopted a series of measures to enhance the economic development of the Turkish-Cypriot community, which today approximately numbers 90,000 people. These measures foster confidence and trust among ordinary people, underpinning efforts to achieve a functional and viable bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution to the Cyprus problem.
1. As a result of the dynamics generated by the then forthcoming accession of Cyprus to the European Union, the Turkish occupation army was forced to partially lift its restrictions on the freedom of movement across the “green line”, which forcibly divides Cyprus, in April 2003. Since then, approximately 2.3 million repeat visits by Greek-Cypriots took place to the occupied areas. During these visits, Greek-Cypriots spent more than US $57 million.
2. In 2003 and 2004, the government of Cyprus paid social insurance pensions to Turkish-Cypriots totaling more than $43 million.
3. Since April 2003, more than 24,000 Turkish-Cypriots have been provided with free medical care at the public hospitals and medical centers of the Republic of Cyprus. The cost of this treatment exceeds $9 million.
4. 63,592 Turkish-Cypriots have acquired Republic of Cyprus birth certificates.
5. 57,309 Turkish-Cypriots have acquired Republic of Cyprus identity cards.
6. 32,185 Turkish-Cypriots have acquired Republic of Cyprus passports.
7. 2,659 Turkish-Cypriots are registered with the Social Insurance Services (SIS) and are employed in the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus that are situated south of the “green line”. An additional 5,000 Turkish-Cypriots are employed in the government controlled areas without SIS registration. According to those estimates and the average monthly salary, which amounts to about $1400, these Turkish-Cypriots have since April 2003 received approximately $246 million in salaries.
8. The Republic of Cyprus pays full tuition fees of Turkish-Cypriot pupils in secondary education private schools in the government-controlled areas. In 2003, five Turkish-Cypriot pupils began their studies; in 2004 nine more started attending classes; and this year 25 more are expected to be added. By the time these students have completed their studies, the Republic of Cyprus will have paid more than $5.4 million in tuition fees.
9. Since 1974, the Cyprus Electricity Authority has provided free electricity to the Turkish occupied areas at a cost of nearly $343 million.
Total monetary benefits provided to the Turkish-Cypriot community by the Republic of Cyprus and Greek-Cypriots: more than $700 million