More than 80,000 Turkish Cypriots are expected to be automatically registered on the electoral roll of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) ahead of the European elections in May, but they must make sure their registered address is in the occupied areas, an official said on Tuesday.
Those who have declared an address not in the north will have to change it by April 2 in order to have the right to vote.
According to head of the interior ministry’s election service Demetris Demetriou, Turkish Cypriots can change their residence address at district administrations. To clarify whether they need to change their address, Turkish Cypriots can ask either at the citizen service centres or at crossings by providing their RoC ID card number.
Demetriou told the Cyprus News Agency that 20,000 Turkish Cypriots have to declare a residence address in the north.
Those who have a registered home address in the government-controlled areas will have to apply for registration on the electoral roll, just like Greek Cypriots.
The law provides that Turkish Cypriots with a RoC ID card are eligible to cast a ballot as well as stand for election as an MEP.
According to the relevant law, in effect since 2014, Demetriou said Turkish Cypriots automatically obtain voting rights when they acquire RoC ID cards (this concerns ID cards issued since the mid-2000s) and whose official address registered in the civil registry system is in the north.
Based on these provisions, Demetriou said, in 2014 some 59,000 Turkish Cypriots automatically acquired voting rights.
“On the basis of the data currently in our possession, for the May 2019 European elections more than 80,000 Turkish Cypriots will be automatically transferred to the special electoral list,” Demetriou said.
By April 2, when the electoral list will close, Turkish Cypriots are urged to check which residence address they had declared and to change it if necessary. Those who fail to do so by that date will not have the right to vote, he said.
Demetriou said that, as in 2014, there will be polling stations for Turkish Cypriots near each crossing from Kato Pyrgos up to Dherynia.
The clarifications follow concerns raised among Turkish Cypriots on whether they would encounter the same problems as in the Euro elections of 2014, when some 30,000 of them who reside in the north were excluded from the electoral roll either because they had stated no address, or because they had stated an address in the government-controlled areas.
To facilitate Turkish Cypriots, the interior ministry has also issued an announcement in Turkish with information on the matter.