What the papers say
“WHAT did you do, and you are criticising another?” Kıbrıs editor Ali Baturay asked in response to the National Unity Party’s (UBP) protest at Ciklos on the LefkoşaGirne road, where four young people died in the flood disaster. Protesters criticised the government and called for its resignation.
Mr Baturay acknowledged on Thursday that “one of the most important duties of opposition is to observe the government, identify its faults, criticise and direct them towards the correct path”, but asked: “If they were in power in the past and have done just the opposite of what they promised, or have not acted at all on a point of criticism, how can you trust them?”
He said UBP was the “last party in the position to hold this protest”, since the Girne-Lefkoşa road upgrade now at the centre of the post-flood furore had been prepared while UBP was in government.
“Did they pay attention to the issue they are now criticising back then when the project was being prepared?
“When they fell to the position of opposition, they thought that they had left a good project for the new government. They probably thought the road would please the public and would possibly gain government bonus points, about which they were sad. They even mentioned this in Parliament.
“When leaving this lovely project back then, did UBP warn the current government, ‘beware of this [flooding] issue so no disaster happens in future’? No, because they had neither a thought about this issue, nor a deep insight about it.”
Mr Baturay said the issues at the centre of the protest would never have been on the agenda if it weren’t for last month’s flood tragedy, and commented: “If [UBP] were in government, do you really think that they would make the firm from Turkey do what they today are saying should have been done? No . . . if UBP were in government, the same disaster would have occurred . . .
“If today we are suffering from insufficient infrastructure, UBP — as the party that has been in government most — has a huge responsibility.
“Of course [Republican Turkish Party] CTP and [Democrat Party] DP, which were in government in the past have some criticisms and minus points, but the main portion lies with UBP . . . Whatever state the country is in today, past and present governments have contributed, and UBP most of all.”
The writer concluded: “I am not the lawyer of today’s government, I criticise it where necessary but when you blame them we will not forget your shortcomings or your errors. Do some self-criticism . . . explain your errors, then open a blank white page . . . If you do this, trust me, you will gain more respect.”