'Allow investment, include the expats, sort out the flights' says John Aziz Kent
Once a flamboyant businessman, later a prominent hotelier, nowadays a source of wisdom on many matters, Mr John Aziz Kent wrote a letter to the CyprusScene website, congratulating the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on its success against the COVİD-19 Pandemic and touching upon many issues regarding the aftermath of the pandemic.
Mr Kent, the Honoraray President of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Association, welcomes the move of the government to open the hotels and said that the public deserved a little rest however underlined that there was a lot to do to overcome the ‘horrendous impact’ of the virüs.
‘’With the necessary lockdowns of flights and borders we will in the not too distant future be allowing people to return to the TRNC and their homes including many expatriates who have faced lockouts around the world and perhaps mainly in the UK and these people play a major part in our country’s economic health through property purchase and renting, day to day living expenses, paying taxes and for those lucky few, being able to work and feel they belong in the TRNC.’’ Mr Kent wrote adding that the TRNC should harness the great value offered by foreign expats’ expertise and Turkish Cypriots abroad so that it is easier for them to work or create businesses in the TRNC as individuals or partnerships where they can be given the opportunity of taking buildings of historical value and interest and invest in making these into very attractive tourist destinations or attractions for the future on 15 to 20 year low cost contracts.’’
‘The world is changing’’ Mr Kent wrote and added that if the TRNC was to grow in stature and improve its economy it needed to encourage the inclusion of expatriates as partners in future plans which has been said time and time again in the past but never achieved.
‘’Let’s now allow investment in our country without the stranglehold and restrictions that the TRNC have imposed in the past. The future is about expansion and teamwork and all the people who have made their homes here should be encouraged to participate and make what the TRNC could be, a wonderful country and the Jewel in the Mediterranean.’’ the wise hotellier wrote.
‘’I built two hotels in Lapta and lobbied at all levels for a solution to the stranglehold placed on the Turkish Cypriots through embargoes orchestrated by the Greek Cypriots who want to rule the island and will not accept the Turkish Cypriots as equals, therefore we should be allowed to do so with those foreign expats who want to live here and share our future’’ Mr Kent wrote reminding his days as a fierce promoter of TRNC tourism.
‘’In the past I worked tirelessly to overcome the unfair embargo we faced with no direct flights and I championed for a shuttle air service between Istanbul and our Ercan airport and now with the airline industry in great turmoil, it is the time for TRNC and Turkey Aviation authorities to issue tender applications to local or worldwide carriers to set up a daily service to the TRNC with low cost fairs which would improve tourism in a very short space of time’’ he also wrote touching upon the major hindrance in front of TRNC tourism Mr Kent continued by writing that there should be an aim to replace the option of flights from south Cyprus, where there is great resentment and increasing pressure to prevent expats from the North from using their flights, and after Brexit this may no longer be an option so we should take the opportunity now of making this a past choice.
‘’Like COVID-19 the embargoes of the past have been defeated time and time again by the Turkish Cypriots and if the UN and the EU, who allowed Cyprus to join its shaky club whilst denying entry to the Turkish Cypriots, then it is time for the United Kingdom led by Boris Johnson to declare Force Majeure for the Turkish Cypriots to join the rest of the world in free trading and recognition.
The UK is heading to BREXIT from the EU in a few months and the TRNC should have its TRNCEXIT from Cyprus as well.
As the founding President of the Dillirgalı Association I am sure all of our thousands of Turkish Cypriot members living around the world will join me in this demand for a change in the world order and allow the Turkish Cypriots their rightly deserved existence to be recognised and welcomed in the new world we now face together
“Together We Will Do It” is the slogan of my association which aims to unite the people of Northern Cyprus and to work together and, through truth, bring peace and develop the economy of the TRNC through Tourism and Enterprise.’’ Mr Mr Kent continued and concluded.