The trade union platform organised a “March of Social Existence” in Lefkoşa and voiced its belief that reunifying Cyprus under a federal umbrella would solve the people’s problems.
Taking part were the United Cyprus Party, the New Cyprus Party and the Socialist Liberation Party New Forces. Around 500 people took to the streets. Representative for the CTP Dogus Derya also joined the march.
Demanding independence from the mainland, the crowd gathered in Dereboyu and marched past the Presidency arriving at Kyrenia Gate.
There was a large police presence while marchers carried banners with slogans such as “Peace can not be prevented in Cyprus”, “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism”.
Leader of Turk-Sen union Arslan Bıçaklı said, “There is a serious economic crisis in the country, there are price hikes, the TL depreciates”. He said that the workers were suffering and asked who was going to save them. The Turkish Cypriot had already made many sacrifices, he said. “How much have you sacrificed for us”, he asked the authorities.
Bıçaklı said that the state had contributed 11 million TL to the political parties, 1.5 million TL had been given to tourist agencies as incentives, yet it is the working man who is asked to make sacrifices, he pointed out.
The minimum wage was too low, he said and private sector workers have no unions. The Trade Unions Platform has a list of its own proposals regarding the economy, he said.
Bearing in mind that there will be increased focus on the Cyprus issue in the coming days, Bıçaklı said, “A federal solution should be reached in the country. We want peace in this country and no more strife.”