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Cyprus

Turkish Cypriots protest outside EU House in Nicosia

Jean-Claude Juncker

Three Turkish Cypriot organisations held a protest on Friday outside the EU House in Nicosia, demanding the extension of the acquis communitaire to the Turkish occupied north of the island.

The organisations, teachers’ union KTOS, journalists, BASIN-SEN, and the history and culture foundation, handed a letter addressed to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, urging them to be more active in procedures to reunite the island and extend EU rules and regulations to the north.

They also said that Turkey was implementing policies in the north that were leading the Turkish Cypriot community to extinction.

The population in the north has been altered by the systematic settlement of Turkish people, rendering the around 130,000 Turkish Cypriots a minority, they said.

The organisations added that drugs trafficking, human trafficking, gambling, money laundering, and destruction of the environment were prevalent in the north and there was an effort afoot to change the Turkish Cypriots’ religious, social, and cultural identity through Sunni Islamic oppression from the Turkish government.

The Turkish Cypriots said they had backed a UN reunification plan in 2004 – which Greek Cypriots rejected – and they tried to achieve success in recent talks. As, EU citizens living in the north, they said, they were in a difficult position “but we won’t allow the failure to reach a solution distance us from the EU and being used as a bargaining chip in the EU-Turkey talks.”

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