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Προβολή αναρτήσεων από Ιούλιος, 2017

Minimum wage inflames TC unions

Εικόνα
By Kyriacos Kiliaris

The Turkish Cypriot Social Security and Labour office has announced that the minimum wage in the north will rise from 2,020 Turkish Lira to 2,175 (€524), amid heavy criticism that the increase is not enough.

Unions in the north are in uproar over the 155 TL increase, as they are also claiming that the “minimum wage does not comply with the relative minimum wage regulation in the north”.

They are protesting the fact that the minimum wage is set according to the fluctuations in the cost of living, whereas regulations state that the minimum wage should be set in a way to meet the needs of a four-member family.

The minimum wage in the north is far from complying with the above. After taxes, a worker on a minimum wage is left with the equivalent of €459, with rents starting from €220. If one adds electricity and water bills and food expenses, they are left with a very dark picture.

Murat Kanatli, the head of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) in the north, told …

Kyrenia beaches ‘hijacked’ by hotels

Εικόνα
By Kyriacos Kiliaris
Kyrenia residents are not allowed access to most of the beaches in their region. The reason behind this is that many hotels built on the coast have sectioned off access to the shore in their vicinity and allow entry only to their guests or demand payment.
A group organised through Facebook and calling itself “Let’s go to the beach for free: Beaches belong to the people” is challenging this.
They claim the hotels are acting outside regulations and are protesting against such actions by turning up in groups wearing swimsuits, holding umbrellas and other sea gear and demanding access to the beach without paying.

Protesters are bringing with them a copy of the relative regulation that states no one (other than the authorities) has the right to prevent people from accessing the coasts in the north.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Yusuf Ozgu Sertel told the Cyprus Weekly that in many cases they were physically stopped from entering the beaches, with hotel…

Drinking water in the north unchecked

Εικόνα
By Kyriacos Kiliaris

Turkish Cypriots are worried that their drinking water may not be up to standard and may even be endangering their health, due to the fact that the public laboratory has not been able to perform checks on the vital liquid sold in carboys, or large plastic containers, in the north.

The reason for this is that the lab has yet to regain full operations after the fire that destroyed three of its departments last December. The most recent test performed on the contents of carboys by the public laboratory took place last year.

The public lab burned down on December 22, after a fire broke out in the laboratory’s warehouse. Various chemicals caught flame, causing serious health problems to a number of its workers.

Seven months after the fire, and despite the lab having been moved to the Veterinary Department, a series of chemical analyses are still not being performed. The lab cannot operate fully, as a range of vital equipment was lost in the blaze and has …

Debate reignites over religious courses for TC kids

Εικόνα
By Kyriacos Kiliaris

A heated debate has reignited within the Turkish Cypriot community after a series of mosques have begun offering religious lessons to children in the north.

Dozens of children have been seen in the early hours of the day on their way to the sanctuaries, with girls unusually wearing headscarves and holding various religious books.

These images are somewhat strange to a secular Turkish Cypriot society and have re-triggered public debate that has been ongoing for the past months after the TC Ombudsman said that compulsory religious lessons taking place in schools are a violation of basic human rights.

Meanwhile, members of the TC assembly and unions have expressed their concern that there is a plan on behalf of Turkey’s ruling AKP to reshape the Turkish Cypriot community into a more devoutly religious society.

Professor Talip Atalay, head of the Religious Affairs office in the north, commenting on these courses, said that they are not Quran courses, bu…

Turkey unwilling to pay up

Εικόνα
By Kyriacos Kiliaris
The Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in the north – charged with compensating Greek Cypriots who lost their property during 1974 – is no longer able to pay out compensations, due to a lack of funds.

According to the IPC’s head, Ayfer Erkmen, Turkey has stopped financing the Commission, which was set up following the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

A total of 6,327 Greek Cypriots have applied to the IPC for the sale of their property, with the IPC having so far concluded 837 of the applications, and having paid out a total of GBP £179.3 million (€202.1 million).

“In order to be able to conclude the remaining applications, the Commission needs about GBP £2 billion,” Erkmen said.

However, Turkey, prior to providing additional funds to the IPC, demands Turkish Cypriot authorities implement a regulation that foresees contributions being made from the Turkish Cypriots.

As a result, the number of applications pu…