Turkish Cypriots on Friday continued demonstrating against price hikes, the new protocol on financial support from Turkey, and what they consider interventions on their free will, with support from political parties.

A community union gathered outside the ‘prime minister’s office’ in the north on Friday morning, and marched towards ‘parliament’ in the afternoon where they tied black ribbons to the railings of the building and after blocking the roads they held a sit-in for around an hours.

Speaking at the protest event, the general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union Ktos, Burak Mavis read out a joint communiqué.

The text read on behalf of the organising platform stated that their revolt was against the injustice and their goal to change this and to “send home those who signed the surrender protocol”.

With each passing day, he continued, it becomes more difficult for the people to cope the statement said. With the continued decline in the value of the Turkish lira, loans and bills have doubled, and electricity increases have “bent us over.

“Is there work to protect the poor, the poor, the low income, the disadvantaged groups? No. Is there any contribution to people to cover electricity and fuel prices? No.” Is the ‘government’ in trouble, he asked again, only to answer “no” himself.

They will not, he continued, allow the policy of handing over the ‘government’ to the AKP, nor will they allow the impoverishment of the people and their disintegration.

“We will stand against interference in our will, we will continue to be on the streets to ensure production and fair distribution in the country.”

During the earlier protest, demonstrators carried banners saying such things as “Increases, torture, suffering” and “How far will this go?” Protesters also held placards decrying the protocol, which is being met with an overwhelmingly negative response by trade unions and the public when it was published in the ‘official gazette’.

The Republican Turkish Party (RTK) called on people to join the protest against “the illegitimate government” and to defend their rights.

“While the Turkish Cypriot people have so many vital problems when it comes to the economy, production, purchasing power and labour, the government is trying to take society back a century by introducing laws limiting fundamental rights and liberties,” a statement by the party said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot association of journalists announced that they will also be holding their own 24-hour protest outside ‘parliament’ on Monday as part of the “Freedom is bigger than you, do not touch it” campaign.

This comes just a day after another protest outside the ‘prime minister’s office’ by the leadership and members of the union.

Journalists called on parties and unions to support Monday’s protest, which will be focused on the three bills included in the protocol restricting freedom of expression and speech.

The 53-page protocol, which was published on May 20 in the ‘official gazette’, was met with strong reactions in the north as it is expected to further restrict the freedoms of Turkish Cypriots. It was signed over a month earlier, on April 14.