Turkey says a new water treatment facility to supply water for agriculture to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will be completed within the year.
"[Agricultural] production will increase and welfare will enhance, which will also reinforce connections between Turkey and the TRNC," Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told journalists Saturday.
The project was initiated in 2011 with the building of a dam in Turkey's southern city of Mersin aimed at supplying water via an undersea pipeline to the island.
Veysel Eroglu, Turkey's minister of forest and water affairs, said the 200,000 cubic meter treatment facility and giant water pipeline would cost nearly TRY1.2 billion ($530 million), TRY950 million ($420 million) of which has been spent so far.
TRNC President Dervis Eroglu said that the problems of water and energy would now fall from his government's agenda, as they were on the eve of solving such problems.