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Cyprus

Petrides working with Turkish Cypriot teachers union to resolve citizenship cases

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides

By Evie Andreou

A team appointed by Interior Minister, Constantinos Petrides, will work with the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union Ktos to go through the applications of around 5,500 Turkish Cypriots with one Turkish parent who have expressed interest in obtaining a Republic of Cyprus passport, the union’s dead Sener Elcil said on Friday.

A delegation from the union, met on Friday with Petrides to discuss the issue concerning persons who face problems in obtaining the passport.

Elcil said that the meeting was productive and that the minister’s stance on the matter was a positive one.

He said that Ktos has received so far around 5,500 applications from people with one Turkish Cypriot parent and a parent from Turkey or of other nationality who would like to obtain the citizenship and passport of the RoC and who experience problems in getting it.

These applications, he said, have been categorised into those compatible with existing legislation and those that are not.

Petrides, Elcil said, said that the RoC abides by the legislation and cannot violate it.

“We respect this point of view,” Elicl said, adding that, at the moment, they will focus on cooperating with the ministry on the applications that are compatible with the law provisions.

Those that might not be compatible with the law concern persons with one parent from Turkey, who arrived in the north as a settler, he said. Existing legislation, Elcil said, does not allow the matter to be resolved when it relates to marriages made with persons transferred as settlers in the north.

He added that the RoC was disturbed by Turkey’s policy of bringing in settlers in the north. This policy, he said, is not in line with the Geneva Conventions.

The union will work with the team appointed by Petrides to help them solve a number of issues.

As for those cases that are not compatible with existing law provisions, Elcil said, they will look into whether the law in question is compatible with international law.

Elicl said that, if necessary, they will take legal measures. The lawsuits would be on the grounds of discrimination from the RoC’s alleged refusal to grant these people citizenship.

The union had said earlier in the year that they would also discuss the issue with the Turkish Cypriot leader, arguing that it is important to bring up the matter at the negotiating table.

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