Probe into staff ‘given paid leave’ to join demo
AN OFFICIAL investigation is being demanded after three municipalities gave paid “administrative leave” for staff to attend a violent demonstration at the Lefkoşa offices of Afrika newspaper in January.
As reported by Cyprus Today at the time, the demo was triggered by a report in the paper comparing Turkey’s recent Afrin military operation in Syria to its 1974 intervention in Cyprus.
Teachers’ trade union Ktös has now made a formal complaint to the Auditor-General about Büyükkonuk, Beyarmudu and Paşaköy municipalities which it alleges ordered staff to take January 22 as paid leave in order to attend the protest.
“The three mayors told their staff that they were to be on paid leave after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an instruction for action [over the Afrika report]”, Ktös general secretary Şener Elcil said on Monday. “These municipalities had no right to grant such leave to their employees.”
Mr Elcil also claimed the local authorities had paid for buses to bring staff to Lefkoşa for the protest.
“The country made a financial loss through these actions and the Auditor-General should therefore investigate and make the findings public,” he added.