There was a strong police presence in Lara in the Akamas peninsula on Sunday in efforts to prevent the residents of Ineia from digging turtle nests on Lara beach.

The residents of the community gathered in the area claiming part of the development that other coastal areas receive. They did not take extreme action, but warned that they would escalate their mobilisations in the coming period.

During the protest, all roads to Lara and Akamas were cut off, as well as the roads leading from Ineia to Lara and Akamas.

Protestors held placards, which read slogans such as “We do not negotiate the human presence in Lara and Akamas” and “Coexistence of man and turtle”.

The president of the community of Ineia, Yiangos Tsivikos, said his statements from last Sunday warning that they would dig up the marked nests to show that in most nests there are no eggs, had been misinterpreted. This would only be done, he clarified, in the presence of the minister responsible and the director of the fisheries department.

Local residents claim that in both bays either eggs are transported from other areas or cages are placed without nests.

Tzivikos argued that equality should be applied, as was the case in the bay of Chrysochous, where measures were taken to protect the turtles and at the same time the create organised beaches.

The same should be done in Lara, he said, calling on President Nicos Anastasides to take the initiative to solve the chronic problem of Ineia.

Local residents and officials warned of an escalation of measures both outside Parliament and outside the Presidential Palace, calling on the state not to proceed with the announcement of the local Akamas plan.

“During this period, we observe with indignation the furious efforts of the salaried NGOs and various other executives of environmental organisations who found an easy way to build careers and acquire offices with their exclusive occupation with the area of Akamas,” Tzivikos said in a letter to Anastasiades.

Among other things, in the memorandum, the Community Authority of Ineia notes that the definition of policies and the decisions of the executive power should be based first and foremost on development and the human factor, while it says that “if even one person is wronged by these decisions, they are not correct, let alone, when an entire community is wronged,” the letter concluded.