We thank FISE and WFTU for inviting us here. We greet all our comrades here with feelings of international solidarity.
We represent the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union. We come from Cyprus, but from the north of Cyprus. Our country is currently divided into two. The north of the island is under the control of Turkey. Turkish governments have an extensive influence on our economic and social structures. Therefore, as well as dealing with problems arising from the division of our island, we are also struggling with economic problems that are created by our peculiar economic structure.
A few years ago, in 2008, a law that would restructure all the sectors in the north of the country was introduced. The society fought hard to stop the implementation of this law but they did not succeed. The law has been dubbed as the “emigration law” by the society because it would force the people, especially the youth, to leave the country due to the decreased standard of life. The neoliberal policies of this law envision cuts and austerity measures and they have been implemented in many areas, including health and education. Continue reading