Turkish Cypriots took the streets in protest

Yesterday Turkish Cypriots took the streets of Nicosia in a general strike and mass protest to rally against the austerity package that was imposed by Turkey on 1st of January. The rally has been in the works for weeks by the trade unions and non-government organisations. The measures imposed by Turkey, will slash the pseudo-government spending on salaries in order to reduce the half a billion dollar annual subsidy of Turkey to cover the huge budget deficit of Northern Cyprus. The austerity package includes substantial reductions in public sector salaries andĀ privatisationĀ of ‘state’ organisations which will lead into transfer of power from the Turkish Cypriots to the Turkish settlers. According to protesters interviewed at the rally, the measures are an attempt of Turkey to erode the demographic make-up of Northern Cyprus and make Turkish Cypriots less significant by promoting mass immigration of settlers from Turkey.