NCFP Archive 6 Years Ago | Fight Them on the Beaches

ncfp-archive-29-08-2015NCFP Archive – 29th August 2009

The Barak Culture Association (BCA) is dedicated to enforcing the 38th Article of the TRNC Constitution which states that entrance to beaches cannot be charged for. They are upset that with the explosion of hotels building next to publicly owned beaches, the owners of these hotels are taking these beaches for themselves and charging entrance fees for something they do not own. Locals who had previously used these beaches for free are now being denied access unless they pay up 20 TL to use them.

The hotels argue that, unasked for, they have taken over the management of these beaches and that these charges include extras such as sun beds and parking spaces. This does not impress BCA who feel that locals who arrive by dolmuĊŸ and prefer to sit on a towel should not be forced to pay for services they do not want and possibly cannot afford.

Legally, the non-payers are in the right and the hoteliers are in the wrong and could be fined up to 25,000 TL or face a prison sentence of up to a year. However, there have been no prosecutions possibly because officials have been reluctant to force these businesses to potentially allow their beaches to be filled with non-paying customers and for the subsequent loss of income to threaten their survival. So is there a way out of this current stand-off situation? Is there a way of balancing social and business needs?

Unless the TRNC constitution is changed free access has to be allowed but at the same time hotels are free to offer car parking, water and sun beds at a price which is attractive to customers. 5 TL for a parking space is perhaps not unreasonable, nor is 5TL for a sun bed, but it is questionable to have a single fee of 20TL and a policy to intimidate those who are legally entitled to use the beach without charge. This smacks of a move by a hotel to keep the “riffraff” away. Perhaps this is what the left wing BCA group is really angry about, not the beach charge but instead what they see as a policy of wealthy people excluding the less wealthy from areas where they socialise?

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