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12° Nicosia,
13 June, 2024
 
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Farmers seize control, policemen caught off guard in occupied territories

Farmers demand government resignation in occupied territories

Newsroom

A demonstration outside the prime minister's residence in the occupied territories erupted into chaos on Monday as farmers, supported by various trade unions, NGOs, and political groups, voiced their grievances.

Protesters wielded tractors as weapons, hurling them at the iron gates of the courtyard and engaging in clashes with police officers stationed outside the building. The atmosphere was thick with smoke as large bales of hay were ignited, intensifying the standoff. Calls for the government's resignation reverberated through the crowd, with opposition lawmakers urged to join the fray within the building's confines.

For the past week, farmers have staged daily protests outside the prime minister's office, decrying the government's decision to allow meat imports from the Netherlands and its failure to address the soaring prices of lamb and beef.

In a show of solidarity, air traffic controllers had planned to strike, but the government swiftly intervened, labeling the strike illegal and imposing a 60-day ban on any strike actions, as announced in the Official Gazette.

While it remains uncertain if any demonstrators were apprehended, local media reports indicate the presence of police intervention units.

Trade union leaders have framed the protest as a battle for community survival, vowing to escalate their mobilization efforts. "We will flood the streets to safeguard our future," they declared.

The disruption extended beyond the prime minister's residence, with protesters obstructing traffic on the main road, displaying banners and flags, and chanting, "This is just the beginning, keep up the fight."

Mustafa Naimoylari, president of the Breeders' Association, affirmed their unwavering commitment to the cause, stating, "We will not be deterred by such actions, and we will not retreat. Our fight will continue, and everyone will witness it."

Despite calls from the government for an end to the protests to facilitate dialogue, the farmers remain resolute in their demands.

Prime Minister Unal Ustel had appealed for "common sense" to prevail among the demonstrators prior to the day's events, stressing that the interests of the productive sector should not overshadow those of society as a whole. However, his remarks regarding the presence of "millions-worth tractors" at the protest site further fueled tensions and backlash.

[Information sourced from 24 News]

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Cyprus  |  protest  |  Turkey

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