An Overview of Civil Service in North Cyprus

PRIO Report

Ekici, Tufan (2018) An Overview of Civil Service in North Cyprus. PRIO Cyprus Centre Report: 3. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Following the division of the island in 1974, the authorities in northern Cyprus used public sector employment as a tool to help restore the economy. Over the following decades, many people with limited human capital landed secure jobs with generous fringe benefits in the civil services. Lawmakers saw this as an opportunity to enhance their political power and constantly used this tool for their clientelistic objectives. It is, however, not clear if the policymakers have ever considered the legal and financial aspects of this practice very carefully.

This report analyzes three dimensions of the TRNC's civil service, namely, the legal framework, human resources and financial resources. We introduce in Section 2 the basic legal foundation regarding employment in this sector. The laws have been amended numerous times in order to favor particular groups, and in some cases there has been almost no change in the laws since 1974. Section 3 talks about the recent overall number of civil servants and numbers within each ministry of the government. This section ends with discussion of the three most populous professions in the civil service, namely, educators, physicians and police. The budget of the central government is discussed in section 4 of the report, where we introduce the sources for government revenues, as well as expenditure on current and retired civil servants.

It is public knowledge that civil service sector employment in the TRNC is a very weighty burden on the government's budget. This report is intended to give a detailed overview of different aspects of this burden.

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