Turkish Cypriots stage mass demonstration to protest wage cuts, economic policies

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Thousands of Turkish Cypriots in the north of divided Cyprus have peacefully protested what they say are unfair economic policies that are stifling them.

Protesters banged drums and blew vuvuzelas at a rally in north Nicosia on Friday to voice their disapproval at policies they say are driving young people off the island to look for jobs.

Protesters also blamed Turkish Cypriot authorities for bowing to pressure from Turkey to enact such measures as steep entry level wage cuts for government jobs.

Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Turkey only recognizes the north and keeps 35,000 troops there.

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