making North Cyprus better...


Making North Cyprus Better - MNCB/KKG Update 20th Nov 2011 

It is now just three eventful months since we launched Making North Cyprus Better with the objective of stopping evictions and getting a fair deal for home buyers. This is what has happened to date.

In September we had our launch conference and published our proposals to make house buying in the TRNC a fairer process. These proposals met with virtually universal approval and can be referred to on our web site MNCB proposals received the immediate endorsement of BRS, Stop the Blackmail movement and thousands of Turkish Cypriots including many clients of lawyers Boyson Boyra. In all, a rattling endorsement from approaching 5,000 people, about one half of those 10,000 or so that we estimate have major property problems. We appreciate this support for it is vital that we all get our act together on something as important as this.

As we said at the beginning we would be mainly operating below the radar putting forward positive proposals to the benefit of all, the government, the construction industry, the banking industry and home buyers. We fleshed out our proposals into a road map as a basis for discussion with the Prime Ministers Office.

As we have reported earlier Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk welcomed our approach and agreed to set up an engagement process with MNCB/KKG. The leaders of the two main opposition political parties Ozkan Yorgankloglu and Mehmet Cakici also expressed support for the MNCB/KKG proposals.

In the roadmap MNCB proposed a step by step approach to the overhaul of the flawed property buying process. Our first priority is to try to stop eviction of home buyers, home buyers who are the unwitting victims of what we call "stealth mortgages". In other words a mortgage on a house securing loans which the home buyer has never been a party to. In any civilised society a "stealth mortgage" is clearly illegal, we contend that it also illegal in the TRNC.

With an urgent response, Prime Minister Kucuk set up a working group of people close to him, together with MNCB/KKG, to work out a solution for putting to the Council of Ministers. We are engaged in this process now, we are seeking a formula in an attempt to solve the "stealth mortgage" problem without disrupting the genuine mortgage industry. This process involves a high level of co-operation and trust across government departments. To date we are making progress and signs are encouraging but it is still early days.

MNCB Chairman Rahmi Ozsan has given several Turkish Cypriot media interviews outlining the reason for urgent action, on the flawed property and contract laws, as a vital part of making North Cyprus prosperous again. We are very pleased the way the Turkish language media have got behind the campaign for house buyers rights, not only are they saying that house buying victims are morally right, but now there is widespread reporting of them being legally right too. A government Minister has denounced these illegal mortgages. Many Cypriots have become emboldened by the MNCB initiative and are making their views known to the government. This is all very helpful to all house buyers.

For the time being we would recommend that people with such mortgage problems continue with legal action to secure their position whilst awaiting the outcome of this initiative. There is evidence that actions can be postponed pending new laws. As soon as we have a decision from the Government, either way, we will be in touch with you again".

Malcolm Mitcheson & Gultac Ozsan