Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Union representatives, members of the legal, education and medical professions joined a protest march against the construction of the ‘Kulliye’, the presidential complex which is being funded by Turkey, Kibris Postasi reports.
Protestors say that the money could be better spent on health and education. They also said that many trees had been felled to make space for the complex which will cover 50 acres of land. It was also stated that there had been no legal process regarding the construction of the complex.
The President of the Union of Bar Associations Hasan Esendağlı said that the construction of the complex would take its place in Turkish Cypriot history as a “monument of shame”; He said that the complex was being building with the claim that it will serve the public, however, no such need has been identified in the TRNC, he said.
Esendağlı said, “This is illegal, an illegal construction. All legislation has been bypassed“.
Following the speeches, the activists formed a human chain. While the activists were dispersing, some of their number cut the perimeter wires and entered the construction site.
The demonstration was organised by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Communal Democracy Party (TDP), New Cyprus Party, United Cyprus Party, Communal Liberation Party, which was led by the Cyprus Turkish Bar Association, the Cyprus Turkish Medical Association and the Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects Union.People’s Party , Independence Road, Left Movement, Cyprus Turkish Public Officials Union, Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union, Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union, Cyprus Turkish Doctors’ Union, Cooperative Workers’ Union, Revolutionary Workers’ Unions Federation, Press Workers’ Union, Cyprus Turkish Trade Unions Federation , Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, Green Peace Movement, Cyprus Turkish Nurses and Midwives Association, Cyprus Turkish Biologists Association, Cyprus Turkish Pharmacists Association and Eastern Mediterranean University Academic Staff Union.
The activists, who unfurled banners saying “No to the Complex”, “Hospital not a Complex”, and “School not a Complex”, chanted slogans such as “This is just the beginning, continue the struggle“, “Freedom, not interference“, “We don’t want a complex in Cyprus“.
Responding to the protests, the Minister for Public Works and Transport Erhan Arıklı, said that construction of the complex would be tendered to local companies which would bring tax revenues for the government and also create employment for local people.
Pointing out that the cost of this project is 2.820 billion Turkish Lira, Arıklı said, “According to the agreement we made; This project will be completely subcontracted by domestic companies. At a meeting we held at the Ministry, we calculated that at least 2.200 billion lira of this money would flow to the domestic market”.