Turkish Cypriot farmers smashed the gate of the ‘prime minister’s’ office on Tuesday on their second day of protest.

Farmers from across the north had descended on northern Nicosia on Monday, announcing an “indefinite” protest against the ‘government’s’ decision to import meat from the Netherlands and the low prices offered for products such as raw milk and livestock compared to the rising costs of production.

They had threatened to “smash down doors” on the first day, and smashed a gate on the second, a tractor dismantling the gate using a rope.

In addition, they burnt hay bales in front of the building. With the gate detached, police arrested six demonstrators, bringing the total number of arrests on the first two days of the protest to nine.

Speaking after the arrests, the north’s animal producers’ and breeders’ union chairman Mustafa Naimogullari said if the arrested demonstrators are not released “we will tear down all the walls” of the building.

Once it became clear an impasse had been reached between demonstrators and the authorities, Naimogullari said the police chief had said he would not release the detainees.

I told him I would make the protests worse. He said he will make more arrests. This situation is going to get worse,” he added.

Butchers’ association chairman Rasit Senkaya accused the ‘government’ of “betrayal” and said his union does not support the plans to import meat from the Netherlands.

Opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman was present at the protest and expressed his displeasure that the ‘government’ had in his opinion not made sufficient efforts to reach out to farmers.

How is it that these friends have been here since yesterday and there is still no dialogue?” he asked, adding that high emotions can be expected in such a situation.