Saturday, 11 January 2014

Betting shop on university campus prompts widespread criticism


News that a betting office has opened on the campus of a North Cyprus university has generated widespread criticism from teachers and students alike. The betting shop is on the ground floor of a newly built, privately owned apartment block that sits within the grounds of Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in Mağusa.

The Rector’s Office at EMU said they had no prior knowledge about this facility nor had they ever given permission for it. Their investigations have revealed it was the TRNC Government’s Department of Sport that authorised the betting shop on the university campus.

EMU Vice-Rector Dr Uyguroğlu, who is responsible for Student Affairs, told TRNC daily Yeni Düzen they were shocked by the news. “Putting aside the fact it must be situated a certain distance away from our university, we’ve learnt that permission was granted for a new betting shop to open within the grounds of the university campus. This betting shop has officially opened in the past few days. Our students are now face-to-face with a huge threat. There’s no way we will accept such a thing. We will commence legal proceedings to shut the betting office down.”

Students from EMU have protested the opening of the betting shop. Led by EMU Students Union president İbrahim Öztürk, hundreds of students marched to the building where they left a black wreath outside the betting office. Öztürk said: “This [Cyprus] is not a betting island but an education island,” adding that students did not want such a facility on or nearby the university.

EMU is the TRNC’s oldest and largest higher education facility. Located 10 km outside the city centre, EMU started life as an Institute of Technology, welcoming its first students in 1979. Today the state-run university has 16,500 students and multiple faculties, including: Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Architecture, Tourism and Hospitality, Law, and Health Sciences.


  1. Absolutely disgusting that the Department of Sport seemingly gave their blessing to a betting shop in the university to be opened - the Uni confirmed they had no prior knowledge of this. I think Serdar Denktas should resign. This proves where our priorities are - when it comes to lobbying and arguing for the participation of our sportsmen and women we are doing jack but the Ministry sees it fit to authorise the opening of a betting shop in our oldest and most famous university. I am accustomed to seeing unpalatable goings on in North Cyprus but this really is up there.

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