Socialist Worker

General strikes hit Northern Cyprus

Issue No. 2534

Police outside the prime ministers office at a protest during last weeks general strike

Police outside the prime minister's office at a protest during last week's general strike (Pic: Dinos Agiomamitis)

A series of general strikes in Northern Cyprus are turning into a revolt against the government following a fatal road accident last month.

Workers in Northern Cyprus were set to stage a third general strike over the issue this Friday. They are demanding that parliament passes a motion of no confidence in the government after a crash killed two school children and their bus driver.

The strikers blame the government for the crash due to disrepair on the roads and a decision not to turn the clocks back for winter.

A protest during a general strike on Tuesday of last week saw students clash with police outside the prime minister’s office.

The strike also has broader political implications. Many have accused the government in the Turkish north of being a puppet of Turkey after following its decision not to turn the clocks back.

Turkish Cypriots in the north broke away from the south in 1974. Greek nationalists had overthrown the Cypriot government in a coup backed by the right wing military government in Greece.

Trade union leaders organising the strike now back reunification. The revolutionary Workers Democracy group in southern Cyprus visited the north to support the strikes.

They want unity between the Greeks and Turks, but say that Greek Cypriots also have to fight anti-Turkish racism pushed by their own Tory government.

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