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Turkish Cypriots increase pressure over Republic passports

More than 5,000 Turkish Cypriots with one Turkish parent have expressed interest in obtaining a Republic of Cyprus passport, it was reported in the north on Wednesday.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris, trade unions of Turkish Cypriot primary and secondary school teachers, Ktos and Ktoeos, have announced that, as of July2, an office will be established in Ktos’ headquarters with the aim of offering help to those who could not obtain a Cyprus Republic passport because one of their parents comes from Turkey.

Speaking on Tuesday during a press conference, representatives of the trade unions said that they have received 5,152 applications from persons who face problems in obtaining the passport.

Sener Elcil, general secretary of Ktos, said that 70 per cent of them have not applied.

Elcil said that they will discuss the issue with the Republic’s minister of interior, Constantinos Petrides, during a meeting with him in July.

He said that for “victims”, who fulfil the criteria, this issue is to be resolved through dialogue with the authorities of the Republic, and that lawsuits will be filed for some other “victims”, who are not deemed as eligible.

After their meeting with Petrides, Elcil said, they will announce the procedure of the lawsuits.

The office,e which will be set up at the Ktos headquarters, will receive applications from persons who have not yet applied for the passports, and it will also provide information on the documents which they have to submit. He said that after the completion of the process, they will file a group application with lawyers.

Elcil said that they also intend to discuss the issue with the Turkish Cypriot leader, arguing that it is important to bring up the matter at the negotiation table. He said that they will also hold contacts on the issue with representatives of the European parliament and the European Commission in Cyprus.

The action has been in the works for months now, largely coordinated by Ktos and Ktoeos. The lawsuits are on the grounds of discrimination from the RoC’s alleged refusal to grant these people citizenship.

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