Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay is in TRNC for a series of contacts
Date Added: 23 June 2022

Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay will hold a series of contacts is in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Oktay who arrived in the republic at noon today was greeted by Prime Minister Ünal Üstel, Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Ali Murat Başçeri, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dursun Oğuz and other military and civilian officials.

Upon his arrival, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay together with President Ersin Tatar, Prime Minister Ünal Üstel and Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Ali Murat Başçeri boarded a helicopter and toured the fire stricken area to see firsthand the damage caused.

Making a short statement to the press at the crisis centre in the Mersinlik village, President Ersin Tatar said that due to strong winds the fire has spread and led to thousands of acres of land burning.

He said that two more helicopters arrived today to assist in the efforts.

“We had two planes from the south and two from the British Bases and everyone is working to put out the fires in a coordinated fashion. But due to the winds Ardahan and Topcuköy villages are in danger once again. But everyone joined efforts and cleared the areas surrounding the village preventing the fire from entering the village” said Tatar.

He said that when they carried out an inspection in the morning they were able to see that there were some fires that spread to other regions but that after their second flight now with the Turkish Vice President Oktay they were able to see that some of these fires have been put out.

“UAV’s have been able to show us where the fires are, so we are able to intervene straight away in a coordinated fashion and put out these fires” said Tatar and added that thanks to the coordinated efforts with Türkiye they were able to intervene in the fires spreading even further.

“I want to thank everyone, Türkiye, the Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces Command, the Security Forces Command, the Civil Defence Organisation, businessmen and the public for all their assistance” said Tatar.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay for his part said that he was deeply saddened to see the damage caused by the fire.

Noting that they were also fighting fires in the Marmaris region of Türkiye to bring it under control, Oktay said “a fire means that our lungs are on fire. We are trying to put out all of the fires with everything that we have”.

Explaining that during the first phase of the fires 2 helicopters from Türkiye assisted and today 2 other helicopters are assisting in the extinguishing efforts Oktay said that it is not possible to say that the fires are under control but hopefully they will be under control by the end of the day.

“I want to thank the president and the prime minister, the Turkish Ambassador, the Turkish Peace Forces Command in Cyprus, the Security Forces Command, the Civil Defence Organisation and everyone who is assisting in these efforts for all their help” said Oktay and called on the Turkish Cypriot people not to panic, as hopefully all the fires will be put out by the end of the day if the winds don’t pick up.

Noting that there are two reasons why there are fires, Oktay said that one is sabotage and the other is human error.

“We as a state need to prevent sabotage but it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent human error. People should not have picnics in forest areas and everyone should be more sensitive and aware during the summer months” he said.

Explaining that they had just spoken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and informed him about the developments taking place, Oktay said that the Turkish President expressed his sorrow over hearing the news of the fires and the damage caused and expressed a speedy recovery to the country.

Meanwhile, later in the afternoon President Tatar and the Turkish Vice-President Oktay held a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Lefkoşa.

Following their meeting, Tatar and Oktay held a joint press conference.

Turkish Vice-President then came together with the Speaker of Parliament Zorlu Töre.

Later in the afternoon, Oktay will visit Prime Minister Ünal Üstel.

He will also hold a series of contacts in Güzelyurt in the evening.

Tomorrow morning the Turkish Vice-President Oktay will attend the Entrepreneurship Grant Scheme meeting.

He will also hold inspections at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Academic Unit Campus of the Social Sciences University of Ankara tomorrow afternoon.

Later in the day, Oktay will visit the Beyarmudu Municipality and will then meet with women producers and entrepreneurs.