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Cypriot MEP Kizilyurek pressing EU to make Turkish an official language

Niyazi Kizilyurek

Akel MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek is pressing the EU to expedite procedures for the introduction of Turkish as an official EU language, it emerged on Tuesday.

In a question to the European Commission submitted earlier in the month, Kizilyurek, referred to the letter President Nicos Anastasiades had sent in February 2016 to the Presidents of the Council, Commission and European Parliament, stating that Turkish was one of the official languages of the Republic of Cyprus and asked for it to be introduced as an official EU language in accordance with Article 342 of the TFEU on the rules governing the languages of the institutions of the Union.

“Turkish Cypriot citizens of the EU are certainly expecting their mother tongue to become an official language of the EU,” Kizilyurek said in his question, published in the European Parliament’s question section.

Referring to his own election as MEP, he noted that in the 2019 European Parliament elections, a Turkish Cypriot MEP was elected for the first time, by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

“Bearing the above in mind, what measures will the Commission take in order to accelerate the necessary procedures for the introduction of Turkish as an official EU language?” Kizilyurek asked.

The acclaimed academician had said last May prior to his election this would be one of his goals if elected, arguing that this would help integrate Turkish Cypriots in EU institutions.

Anastasiades’ argument when he had submitted the request was that in view of the possibility of reaching a settlement on the Cyprus problem, the time had come to launch preparations to enable the Union to start using Turkish as an official EU language upon reunification.

The Turkish Cypriot side at the time had welcomed the move with Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman, Baris Burcu, confirming the matter was discussed during a meeting between the two leaders.

Cyprus had made the same request in 2002 during its accession talk but it was told not to insist due to the limited practical purpose and significant cost.

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