Nikolaos Stelya / DUVAR
The economic crisis in Turkey has also left Northern Cyprus reeling from the consequences of the depreciation of the Turkish lira.
Amid soaring foreign exchange costs, many petrol stations in Turkish Cyprus have run out of fuel and two main suppliers K-Pet and AlPet announced that they would temporarily decrease their sales.
The two companies said that they were making financial losses and demanded the prices to increase in order to increase their supply.
Amid the fuel crisis, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu called on petrol station owners in the north “not to sell fuel to Greek Cypriots,” saying that the breakaway state cannot even meet its own demand under current circumstances.
“If my citizens are unable to buy fuel, there is no meaning to it. We should pay attention so that our farmers do not run out of fuel. What matters for us is our citizens,” he said.
The Turkish lira's steep depreciation against the euro widened the gap between fuel prices in the north and the south of the island, which is why Greek Cypriots have been going to the north to fill up their cars with relatively cheaper petrol.
In contradictory statements to Sucuoğlu, Turkish Cypriot Ersin Tatar said that it was instead the Greek Cypriot administration that has been banning Greek Cypriots from buying cheaper fuel from the north.
“Greek Cypriot taxis' fuel tanks are being checked during their passage to the Turkish Cyprus and during their return, and if they are determined to have bought fuel from the Turkish Cyprus, they are given heavy monetary fines. The main target of such implementations of the Greek Cypriot administration towards its own citizens is to crush the Turkish Cyprus economy, its market and businesses. I will take the necessary steps towards such implementations of the Greek Cypriot administration,” Tatar said.
In the face of these contradictory statements, some of the petrol station owners in the north have announced that they will continue serving Greek Cypriot customers.