03/03/2011, 00.00
CYPRUS – TURKEY
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Nicosia: Turkish Cypriots demand reunification against Ankara’s policies

A platform of groups organise demonstration in Nicosia against Ankara-driven economic policies. They demand real autonomy and reunification.
Nicosia (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Turkish Cypriots protested on Wednesday against the economic policy of the government of Turkey, calling for action on the issue of reunification. The event is unprecedented as thousands took to the streets to demand greater civil and labour rights and the re-unification of Cyprus through a comprehensive deal with the part of the country left independent after the Turkish invasion of 1974.

The rally was organised by a platform of some 30 Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions and other groups. Political parties opposing the policy of the government of northern Cyprus joined the protest.

Shouting slogans like “Peace and solution right now” and “Ankara take off your hands”, demonstrators protested against the package of financial measures imposed on Turkish Cypriots by Turkey.  On several occasions, speakers who addressed the crowd said, “There is no salvation by ourselves. All together, or none of us”.

The platform wants the northern part of the island occupied by Turkey to exercise real self-government. It also insists on real progress towards reunification.

Some 35,000 Turkish troops are stationed in northern Cyprus, which is formally self-ruled but, with the exception of Turkey, is not recognised by any other state.

By contrast, the Republic of (Greek) Cyprus has been a member of the European Union since 2004.

Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu are currently engaged in UN-backed talks with the goal of achieving reunification.

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