Skip to content or view screen version

Protests spread to occupied Cyprus...

Tsukoui | 08.02.2011 19:23 | Public sector cuts | Repression | Workers' Movements

Turkish Cypriot resistance to the occupation of Cyprus by Turkey continues to be completely ignored by the British media intent on perpetuating the myth that the Cyprus problem is one of Turks vs Greeks instead of one between imperialism and liberation... This week up to half the popultion of the north took to the streets... As Ergodan said: "Who do they think they are... I have strategic interests!"

"Frustrations with austerity measures -- seen as being imposed by Ankara -- resulted in a mass protest in northern Cyprus on Friday (January 28th).

"Ankara, take your hands off us; this motherland is ours, we will run it," chanted the 10,000 protesters who gathered in central Inonu Square, blowing vuvuzelas, banging drums and shouting slogans against the measures.

"The economy is bad and everyone is getting angry. It's getting worse and worse," Tugrul Atakan, 18, told the Canadian press.

According to the protesters, the austerity measures were imposed on Northern Cyprus by the Turkish government in Ankara and have resulted in a higher cost of living and fewer jobs, driving young people off the island."

Argentine Star

"Turkish Cypriots are concerned about their diminishing numbers and importance as mainland Turkey settlers pour in. Their actual number is unclear, but Turkish Cypriot media have reported that they have become a majority at the expense of the indigenous population."


"“This package will lead to mass emigration over the next ten to 15 years,” Cagatay Karaer, a 42 year-old civil servant told the Cyprus Mail at yesterday’s demonstration.

Dubbed the “destruction package” by a platform of 28 trades unions and NGOs, the raft of austerity measures will cut civil service salaries by up to 40 per cent, and will change the way promotions within the service are given. It also foresees the selloff of a number of ‘state-owned’ corporations such as the electricity and telecommunications providers, along with the north’s largest university, the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), to powerful Turkish business interests.

Many at yesterday’s rally believe the economic austerity package implemented by the ruling National Unity Party (UBP) administration on January 1 was handed down by the Turkish government in Ankara, and accuse the north’s ‘government’ of allowing direct rule from the Turkish capital.

“I’m against colonisation by Turkey. That’s why I am here,” said Dogus Derya, a 31 year-old university lecturer among the crowds yesterday.

“It is not that we don’t need economic measures here. We do. But this can’t be regarded as the same as the austerity that is happening elsewhere. This is not a normal country, and this is not a normal situation,” Derya said, adding that the only way to resolve this issue would be though the reunification of the island.

Another demonstrator Handan Mert, a 43 year-old physiotherapist, expressed an oft-repeated view that Turkey was “trying to wipe out the Turkish Cypriots” by making public sector employment so unattractive people would leave the country.

“The population is changing every day,” she complained. “The Turkish Cypriots are leaving and in their place come people from Turkey”."

Cyprus Mail

"The demonstrators on 28 January posted banners featuring slogans like "Have we been rescued? To hell with it!", "We do not want money, a package or civil servants from Ankara", "Ayşe ran out of money and stole some on holiday" and "Ayşe, go home, we'll pay the fare".

Başbakan Erdoğan criticized the slogans, "The provocative actions in Northern Cyprus are being done together with the South. They tell us 'Get out of here'. They are insensitive towards their government. They do not have the right to carry out such a protest action against Turkey. They say 'Turkey, get out of here'. Who do you think you are! I have dead soldiers and veterans, I have a strategic interest."


"Some protesters held banners criticising Turkey's -- particularly Erdogan's -- intervention in their affairs. Some waved [Republic of Cyprus] flags. "Who are these people [the protesters]? We have video records of them. They need to be submitted to the court. The placards cursing Turkey should not have been permitted. You have to do whatever necessary to this end," Erdogan told a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday"

South East European Times

"Turkish Cypriot trade unionists and members of left wing political parties marched today [7th Feb] in the Turkish occupied sector of Nicosia, in protest at what they consider to be belittling and threatening statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They ignored warnings by Erdogan about possible prosecution for an earlier mass demonstration on January 28, when tens of thousands of people protested an austerity package prepared by Ankara curtailing pensions and putting an end to a system of salaries indexed to the cost of living."

"Several left-wing parties and trade unions making up a joint platform angered by Erdogans statements said today's protest march outside the embassy Turkey maintains in the occupied part of Cyprus and the office of the so-called prime minister of the breakaway enclave was only a symbolic one, to be followed by a massive demonstration soon, probably within a week."

Famagusta Gazette

"The unionists wanted to submit a letter to the Ambassador in Nicosia, Kaya Türkmen, to be forwarded to PM Erdoğan but they were stopped by the police. The Embassy said that the letter would have to be sent by mail. The union members criticized the embassy's approach: "As if we came to invade or loot the embassy or to carry out a terrorist action. This attitude is unacceptable".

The letter read, "Once more we remind the ones who are trying to usurp the political will of Turkish Cypriots that every people has the right to a free and independent life in the geographical region they live and the right to govern themselves. You should stop hiding behind the "Yes" voted by the Turkish Cypriots in the referendum in 2004"."


- e-mail: