What are the youth protests in the north about?
Reddediyoruz! We are rejecting (it) !
- The Turkish government and the authorities in the north signed a protocol on 10.02.2012 which foresaw the establishment of a ‘Republic of Turkey Coordination Office’ in North Cyprus that would ‘supervise’ the financial aid the Turkish government would give for investments in the fields of education, culture, youth and sport.
- The protocol was not received positively by the public in north since people were not happy that the Turkish government, through the coordination office, would have significant say over the running of programmes and projects in these fields.
- The Council of Ministers had adopted the protocol in 2014 upon which the Reddediyoruz Platformu was formed and started protesting. Hence the plans to proceed with the implementation of the protocol were shelved.
- After the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Unity Party (UBP) formed a coalition recently, they brought the protocol back to the Parliament’s agenda and passed the bill.
- The Youth organised by the Reddediyoruz Platformu, started protesting again once the protocol was back on the agenda and they are still protesting after the protocol was passed in the Parliament. (27-17)
- The Parliament has sent the bill to Mustafa Akinci as his approval is needed for the protocol to come into force. Arguing that it is unconstitutional, Akinci referred the protocol to the Constitutional Court.
- The Youth is still protesting, the main slogan being REDDEDİYORUZ- WE ARE REJECTING.
Who are the protesters?
- Reddediyoruz Platformu – The Platform for We Are Rejecting.
- Mainly comprised by young people and the leading figures are from youth organisations.
Why are these protests important?
The Turkish Cypriot community feels increasingly uneasy about the status and the nature of the relationship between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government. This is a feeling shared by many individuals on either side of the political spectrum, the right and the left. The long established belief is that ‘nothing will ever change on this island’ and yet the Turkish Cypriot youth is once again taking to the streets relentlessly
Call for action:
The Cypriot Puzzle feels that this is a struggle for Cyprus that should unite all Cypriots. At this crucial moment it is important for the Greek Cypriot community to prove to its Turkish Cypriot compatriots that they empathise with their frustration and that they are joining in their strife; a strife that serves the autonomy and sovereignty of the whole island.