NCFP | 4th Anniversary | Founded in Aug 2009

NCFP | 4th Anniversary | Founded in Aug 2009

I was surprised to discover that North Cyprus Free Press had been founded in August 2009, although I joined later. One of those August articles was:

President takes a stand on illegal building

It seems that Presidents Mehmet Ali Talat does not, after all, ignore illegal construction projects in north Cyprus. For example, when called upon to officially open a hotel he first asks “did you meet all the official requirements?” So what does he do if the hotel had been constructed illegally? It seems that all he does is to not attend the opening.

Now that is what I call leadership, which other officials seem to follow. If they are told a property law is being broken – they ignore it. I imagine the Greek Cypriots are ecstatic that he is in charge of negotiating the settlement of the Cyprus Problem. [NCFP 16/8/2009]

Nothing changes then. I’m told that the reason the newspaper was launched as because the editor’s wife’s hairdresser was being deported because he didn’t have a Level 3 Hairdressing qualification:

Qualifications needed to cut hair but not to build?

The recent case of a British hairdresser being thrown in jail for allegedly forging a Level 3 City and Guilds Hairdressing certificate he had been told was necessary to run a salon in the TRNC highlights the strange hurdles which foreigners are being asked to overcome whilst a blind eye appears to be turned in the case of locals. Mrs Oral, a hairdresser who runs level 3 C&G courses for hairdressers in the TRNC seems to think that these do more than qualify the recipient to cut and style hair. Not according to the C&G exam board or EU requirements, where they require the Level 4 Salon Management certificate. Oops, it seems very few hairdressing salon owners have this, so they better see Mrs Oral about getting one and in the process have to pay her 7000 TL for it.

Which brings us to the case of unqualified builders. You would think that it would be more important for the TRNC to demand level 3 and 4 qualifications for builders (not in hairdressing, they probably already have that) because the worse you can get from an unqualified hairdresser is a bad haircut and a couple of hundred lira bill, An unqualified builder however could cost you your life savings and even your life.

n many EU countries craftspeople who have been in their trade for many years are often given “grandfather rights” to continue practicing despite not having the level 2 or 3 qualifications currently required to do the job. In the UK workers need a CSCS card to be able to a building job and those new to the industry need to complete relevant course to be given this. There is a strong debate against allowing old-timers to be given these cards without at least a health and safety test.

If the TRNC is serious about harmonising its practices in case there is a settlement and they become responsible for following EU laws then the current ad hoc system will not do. The bulk of the €259 million given by the EU to the TRNC was supposed to be for this harmonisation process but this does not seem to have been applied to the construction industry yet although there seems to be a suggestion that there have been attempts to do so for the all important hairdressing industry.

Even then, I ask myself, are local barbers capable of giving their customers an Afro haircut? I doubt it. Should this 70’s hairstyle return to fashion I feel the TRNC will be ill equipped and will turn to the British hairdressers only to find that they have been excluded and have moved elsewhere in the EU – or have used their skills to become builders. [NCFP 19/8/2009]

Not much changed then

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