Cyprus Mail

Turkish Cypriot kids being held ‘hostage to political situation’

Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union Ktos announced on Tuesday it has met ombudswoman Maria Stylianou Lottides to discuss the refusal by the state to grant Cyprus identity cards to children of mixed marriages living in the north.

According to an announcement, head of the union Shener Elcil told the ombudswoman that a great number of children living in the north who have only one Turkish Cypriot parent are being refused citizenship by the Republic of Cyprus.

This, Elcil said, was a violation of the Constitution. He added that since 1974 around 17,000 mixed marriages have taken place in the north.

According to Elcil, state services recently didn’t even accept applications filed by children of mixed marriages asking to be granted citizenship of the RoC. These applications, he said, had been returned to the applicants without the authorities even showing an interest in examining the details of the parent who is not a Turkish Cypriot.

At the moment there are thousands of children with one Turkish Cypriot parent and the other coming from a non-EU country, Elcil said, and whose applications to receive the RoC ID card and passport are pending.

These children, he said, are hostages of the political situation. He also raised the issue of the violation of their human rights.

The Ktos delegation, the announcement said, during their meeting with Lottides, asked for information on the matter and on relevant court decisions. The meeting reportedly took place last week.

Elcil also argued that granting RoC citizenship to children of mixed marriages would help tackle voices in the north defending partition of the breakaway regime from the government controlled areas.

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