''We shall gradually open up'
National Unity Party (UBP) leader and Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that the TRNC had succeeded in preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the country thanks to the timely decisions adopted by the government as well as the sensitivity shown by various institutions, health care workers and the general public.
Tatar was speaking during a meeting of the National Unity Partys Party Assembly in in Lefkoşa.
During his address to party members, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of acting upon the recommendations of health experts.
He, however, added that it was not possible to remain isolated from the rest of the world.
The economy is just as important. Tourism and higher education are vital for the TRNC. We shall gradually open up to the rest of the world, normalising phase by phase, he said.
Tatar added that it was important to follow criteria set by the science board when opening up.
Regarding the 1,500 or so Turkish Cypriots working in the south, Tatar said that efforts were continuing to overcome their problems.
Those who have had PCR testing and who have tested negative will be allowed to cross over to the South as of July 1.
The Prime Minister also explained that the process of opening up will be gradual.
We will first allow a few flights and will act according to the situation. We are hoping that the pandemic will die down in a few months. Our health, peace and security come above everything else, he added.
Tatar also pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic served as an opportunity for the TRNC to make its voice heard in a positive light. The TRNCs success has been mentioned in various organisations, he said, adding that the success story created the grounds to attract foreigners to the country.
Regarding the economy, the UBP leader said that the steps taken by the government had minimized the economic fallout from the pandemic and lockdown.
He said that many had wrongfully predicted a serious economic crisis and recession.
I had expressed the opposite and told them that the Turkish government would help us as it does, he said.
Also touching upon the issue of the fenced-off city of Maraş, Tatar said that work on reopening the city continued.
He expressed the view that the reopening of the fenced-off city will contribute to the various economic sectors.