El-Sen, the employers’ union of the north’s electricity authority Kib-Tek, announced on Saturday night they had filed a complaint to the Turkish Cypriot police after police had prevented them from entering a substation to cut the power supply to Ercan (Tymbou) airport.

The union’s leader Ahmet Tugcu filed the complaint to the Trachoni police station after workers on Friday had been met with what has been described as a “wall of flesh” when attempting to enter the substation in the village of Mora to turn off the power to the airport.

After filing the complaint, Tugcu once again visited the Mora substation and said the police were still present.

Kib-Tek workers had attempted to enter the substation on Friday to cut the airport’s power supply off with the holding company T&T currently in 92 million TL (€2.6m) in debt to Kib-Tek.

Tugcu had said at the time that workers wished to do so “in accordance with the constitutional rights invested in us and with the relevant regulations”, and called on the police to give proof of a written order telling them to not allow workers into the substation.

Newspaper Yeni Duzen reported at the time that the police had responded that the order had “come verbally”.

In response, Tugcu said, “those who govern this country are using the police to protect [T&T owner] Emrullah Turanli.”

Tugcu then spoke to the waiting media, saying, “Ercan belongs to Emrullah Turanli, Kib-Tek belongs to the people. What you need to protect is Kib-Tek!”

He pointed out that Kib-Tek policy dictates that private individuals who accrue a debt of 675TL (€19) to Kib-Tek automatically have their electricity cut off, but that T&T remains connected to its supply despite being 92 million TL in debt.

“We need to put an end to this justice,” he said, adding that his union had given T&T a date – last Friday – by which they must pay their debt, and that they disagree with the reported agreement struck between Kib-Tek’s management and T&T regarding the debt’s management.

“Ercan is not the property of the people, Ercan has already been sold, my friends. Ercan is the property of Emrullah Turanli, not the Turkish Cypriot people, but Kib-Tek is still public property. By doing this, you are protecting Emrullah Turanli, but what you need to do is protect Kib-Tek!

A fracas between workers and police then broke out at the substation as workers tried to enter and police pushed them back, with police ultimately successful and the airport’s power supply remaining intact.

On Saturday, opposition party CTP ‘MP’ Sami Ozuslu said, “a perception that the airport’s owner is now bigger than the state is now being created”.

He said the reported debt of 92 million TL would also accrue an interest of 3.75 million TL (€108,856) and asked whether T&T had gone bankrupt.

Additionally, he described the police’s methods outside the substation as “fascist”.

Earlier in the month, Tugcu had told news website Kibris Postasi that Kib-Tek had been given “political instructions” by politicians from two of the north’s ruling political parties, the UBP and the DP, to not cut the airport’s power supply despite the debt.