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Turkish-Cypriots Dream Occupied Land Being World Trade Hub

Αssociated Press

A police officer use binoculars is seen on a roof of an abandoned building before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspects the newly opened beachfront of Varosha in war-divided Cyprus in the Turkish occupied area in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Nedim Enginsoy)

Isolated from the world and dependent on Turkey to prop up a weak economy, the Turkish-Cypriot occupied side of Cyprus wants to lure international investors and become a trade center to rival Dubai and Singapore.

That's the aim, the self-declared prime minister Ersan Saner told Turkey's Anadolu Agency, although no other country in the world recognizes what his side of the divided island calls a republic.

For now, he said Turkish-Cypriots want to draw business from Turkey, the only country it can, the occupied side's economy based on the services sector. “The most important source of income of our economy is provided by tourism and higher education,” he said.

“It is our greatest desire to increase the volume of trade in the country not only depending on these two points of our economy, but also in general, to make the TRNC (the self-declared name), such as Dubai and Singapore, one of the most important commercial centers in the world,” he added.

He said that during a visit to the Iskenderun Chamber of Commerce that he talked about luring investors who can transfer capital, bring experts and technological designs,” but didn't say how that would happen to an unrecognized territory.

“I believe that any initiative to be made in this regard will also be welcomed by our government, and investments from Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay and the motherland itself, especially in the industrial zone that we will create in our village of Güvercinlik, can make a serious contribution to the economy,” he said.