Finance minister of the Turkish Cypriot occupied north of the island, Serdar Denktash declared on Thursday that the population figures reach approximately 800.000 citizens in the breakaway region of Cyprus. This is the highest ever population figure claimed by a Turkish Cypriot official. Some years ago, Mehmet Ali Talat, the former Turkish Cypriot leader, estimated inhabitants to reach 600.000 people.
For her part, the interior minister of Turkish Cypriot occupied north of the island, Aysegul Baybars, argued that actual population figures are not easily calculable given that a census has not recently taken place. The interior minister also acknowledged that there are still many unregistered people in the region and a new policy needs to take place to measure and register the inhabiting population as citizens of the seceded state. So far, population numbers measure 53.000 registered students enrolled in Turkish Cypriot universities and 8.000 citizens with work permits.
The Turkish Cypriot finance minister also presented the results of a recent survey taken in the region and entitled Quality of Life and Assets. According to the survey’s findings, approximately 67% of households belong in the low income category. Further, the average monthly income figures for the majority of citizens does not exceed 3.800 Turkish liras (roughly €630). The survey also indicated that 57% of citizens do not believe in a federal settlement of the Cyprus question even though there is no agreement on the optimum political solution. Meanwhile, the Turkish armed forces garrisoned in the breakaway region represent the most trusted institution with 38% of Turkish Cypriot citizens believing in their presence as a guarantor of the seceded state’s existence. Interestingly, 48% of the survey respondents revealed their wish to become part of the European Union family. The outcome of the Quality of Life and Assets proved to the world, according to the Turkish Cypriot finance minister, that Turkish Cypriot citizens live on better socio-economic conditions than people in Cyprus or Turkey.