Most Turkish Cypriots support the transition to the euro, as they are crushed under a tumbling Turkish Lira, with their earnings diminishing while inflation spirals.
According to an opinion poll conducted by the Centre for Migration, Identity and Rights’ Studies (CMIRS) in the north showed that 63.79% are in favour of adopting the euro as their currency.
As prices for essential goods spike, along with fluctuations in the Lira’s value, Turkish Cypriot imports, loans and expenses for higher education are affected as they are indexed to either the GBP, the euro or the USD.
The Lira has been breaking unwanted records, as Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is adamant about “fighting the war on interest rates to the end”.
This has seen the Turkish Cypriot economy suffer under the collapse of the Lira, with food-price inflation reaching 37.4% in September.
After losing some 60% of its value in 2021 alone, the currency gained some ground after the Turkish central bank said it would support converting foreign currency deposit accounts into lira deposit accounts to encourage reverse dollarisation further.
The currency hit a historic low of 18.4 to the euro on Monday when it was down some 60% on the year.
On Thursday, it was trading at 13.93.
Economists in the Turkish occupied north have long come out in favour of ditching the Turkish Lira for the euro; however, this would mean politicians taking Turley head-on.
In comments to Yeniduzen, professor of Economics at the Eastern Mediterranean University in occupied Famagusta, Mustafa Besim argued the only obstacle to transition to the euro is the lack of political will to convey the message to Turkey.
“The jacket simply does not fit. This message has to be conveyed to Turkey,” said Besim commenting on the north using the Turkish Lira as their currency.
“The Turkish economy has the capacity to absorb the depreciation of the TL.
“But we can’t do that here because we have a small economy.”
Meanwhile, the CMIRS survey revealed growing discomfort among Turkish Cypriots as 88.6% said they felt that corruption was widespread in the north, compared to 86.69% in June.
According to the survey, 82.56% of respondents believe that crime goes unpunished in the north.
This percentage was only 56.4% during the survey in March and 73.74% in June.
Some 82.64% of respondents believe that organized crime is widespread; it was 78.26% in June.