Dozens of Turkish Cypriots who work in the south and live in the north staged a protest near the Ayios Dhometios checkpoint on Monday afternoon asking that they be allowed to cross into the north without having to go into quarantine there, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
Carrying placards that read “Be fair”, “Respect for the workers” and “Open the gates” the protesters are asking Turkish Cypriot authorities to apply the same rules to them as to their counterparts working in the British Bases or the buffer zone who can come and go with a negative PCR no older than 72 hours.
They have gathered at the Turkish Cypriot side of the checkpoint and say they will stay there until authorities in the north change their stand.
They have also warned that unless their problem is resolved, colleagues staging a similar protest at Ayios Nicolaos checkpoint at Strovilia will prevent workers from crossing over from the north to go to work in Pyla or the British Bases.
Reading out their demands, a spokesman from the association of Turkish Cypriot workers in the south said they wanted to be able to go home and see their families.
The news agency said that Turkish Cypriot workers crossed the Greek Cypriot checkpoint and headed to the north on foot but were trapped in the buffer zone. Some of them spoke by telephone to their children who were waiting for them at the Turkish Cypriot checkpoint.
Turkish Cypriot police chief Hussein Kadir went to the area and told demonstrators they were not allowed to light a fire and will be arrested if they try to do so. He asked them to board the bus to take them to their quarantine hotel, but they refused, the Cyprus News Agency said. It added that Kadir also prohibited food to be handed over to them.
Turkish Cypriots working in the south must quarantine at locations selected by Turkish Cypriot authorities when they cross north and cannot go home to visit their families.