Labour unions and politicians on Thursday in the north have decried a proposed year-long ‘government’ tax amounting to salary cuts across the ‘public’ and private sector for earthquake support to Turkey.

In an announcement nine unions in the north, KTOEOS, KTOS, Basin-Sen, Koop-sen, Dev-Is, Cag-Sen, Maliye-Sen, and Guc-Sen, condemned the decision taken, and said that they would bring the matter to court.

“The members of the government, who have been deaf for years and failed to show any sensitivity to the material and intellectual rights of the Turkish Cypriots, are now trying to take advantage of the pain the community is going through,” the announcement said.

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, KTTO, also weighed in on the tax, saying that it was ‘unconstitutional’ according to the laws in the north.

They said that proposed taxes need to go to the ‘parliament’ for a vote, and cannot be imposed by decree from the government.

“Everyone must know that no matter how great the disasters and sufferings we are going through, they cannot justify acts using the constitution,” KTTO said.

Son of former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and DP party leader, Serdar also called the act of the government illegal.

Denktash said: “Taking a cut from someone’s salary without the consent of the person is equivalent to embezzlement,” and that this initiative also laid the groundwork for anti-Turkey rhetoric among the Turkish Cypriots.

Meanwhile, CTP ‘MP’ Dogus Derya condemned the measure on social media, and said that the ‘government’ should use the money given for the Islamic government complex, Kulliye, to help those affected by the earthquake.

“The money allocated for the construction should be used for the earthquake victims,” she said.

Among the thousands that died in the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, 49 Turkish Cypriots in total died, with the majority being students, teachers, and parents on a school trip in Adiyaman.

Out of the group of 39, 35 died when the Isias hotel, crumbled, and four survived.