TRNC prime minister forms new government to get rid of finance minister
The prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) established a new coalition government on Monday after his previous administration resigned in a dispute with the president over its finance minister.
Prime Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu replaced Finance Minister Sunat Atun in his new cabinet, which was otherwise unchanged, the Yenidüzen newspaper reported.
The Turkish Cypriot government resigned last week after little more than a month in power when President Ersin Tatar blocked Atun’s dismissal. Sucuoğlu had asked him to either approve Atun’s departure or accept his government's resignation.
Sucuoğlu appointed Olgun Amcaoğlu as finance minister in the new administration, which again comprised his National Unity Party (UBP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Rebirth Party (YDP), Yenidüzen said. Parliamentary talks on the government programme will be held on Thursday.
Sucuoğlu had attempted to sack Atun due to a disagreement over electricity price hikes. But the dismissal was blocked by the Turkish government, which then summoned Sucuoğlu, along with Atun and two other ministers, to Ankara, according to the Turkish Cypriot media. Atun had opposed the introduction of government subsidies to enable lower electricity prices.
Tatar, who is known for his close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, advocates fully aligning Turkish Cypriot policies with those of Turkey, such as pursuing a two-state solution as an alternative to the long-held federal model for the divided island.
Sucuoğlu’s UBP established the coalition on Feb. 21 following a snap election in January. The vote took place a year ahead of schedule after former Prime Minister Ersan Saner resigned in October.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a Greek Cypriot coup aiming to unite the island with Greece. Since then, the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus has controlled the southern two-thirds of the island, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognised by Turkey, the northern third.