From Tue Jan 22 04:00:19 2002
From: ICFTU Press <>
To: “ICFTU Online” <>
Subject: ICFTU on-line: Trade unions protest restrictions in Cyprus
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 11:24:23 +0100

Trade unions protest restrictions in Cyprus

ICFTU Online, 009/210102/JL, 21 January 2002

Brussels 21 January 2002 (ICFTU OnLine): Reacting to a written plea from ICFTU Greek Cypriot affiliate SEK, the ICFTU has addressed a letter to Rauf Denktash, leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community to “express its strong protest on the restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement” by him on the Permanent Committee of the All Cyprus Trade Union. A further letter has been sent to ILO Director General Juan Somavia, urging him to utilise the full extent of his powers to halt “unnecessary restrictions imposed by the Denktash regime on the meetings of the Permanent Committee of the All Cyprus Trade Union Forum.”

The letter from SEK was sent to the ICFTU following a refusal on behalf of the Denktash regime to allow a Turkish Cypriot trade union, TURK-SEN (also an ICFTU affiliate), to attend a meeting in Nicosia (in Greek controlled Cyprus). In spite of the division which has separated the Greek and Turkish sides of the island of Cyprus for 28 years, the Permanent Committee of the All Cyprus Trade Union Forum (comprising of trade unions from both the Greek—SEK, PEO and PASYDY—and Turkish communities—TURK-SEN, DEV-IS and KTAMS) has worked to bring a measure of co-operation and dialogue to an otherwise fractious and disputed island. With EU enlargement pending for Cyprus, the Forum is meeting regularly at present to plan the EU Bi-communal Project (to enhance links between the trade unions and the development of a common understanding of EU issues).

ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan explained, “at a time when the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash are striving for accord, it is unfortunate that Mr. Denktash is unwilling to allow trade unions to continue their own rapprochement measures unrestricted. The insistence on unnecessary bureaucratic procedures for both the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot members is unacceptable. Such actions violate the spirit and intention of the Forum, which after all is to bring the two communities closer together.”