Children have the right to have the nationality of their parents, independent presidential candidate and human rights lawyer Achilleas Demetriades said on Thursday, in a comment on the ongoing struggle of Turkish Cypriots in mixed marriages to get Cypriot nationality for their children.
Demetriades told the Cyprus Mail: “I recognise the right of a child to have its parents’ nationality.”
He added that he also understands the state’s obligation to give nationality based on EU and international laws.
However, socialist party Edek and independent candidate Nikos Christodoulides supporters weighed in on the issue as well, saying that children born of a mixed marriage are a product of ‘settlers’ in the north, which is a “war crime,” meaning they cannot receive citizenship.
“If one of the two parents is a settler and came to Cyprus illegally after 1974, then the restoration of rights cannot be applied as it represents illegal invasion, occupation and population transfer,” the party said in a statement.
The party said that under the Geneva Convention settlement constitutes a war crime.
The exact text of the convention states: “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
It makes no mention on the settlers in mixed marriages or on the cases where people settle in Cyprus for marriage or other reasons.
Previously, the Cyprus Mail learned that if a pregnant woman in question goes to another country to give birth, then the child could be eligible for citizenship even through a mixed marriage.
However, at meetings held in previous months, many of the Turkish Cypriots who underwent the aforementioned procedure, have still had their applications either denied or stalled.
On Wednesday, Akel MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek released an answer he received form the EU Commission on the matter of children born in mixed marriages.
EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said in his response: “In accordance with the settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it is for each member state to determine the conditions for acquiring and losing its nationality, in accordance with international law. However, in cases governed by EU law, member states’ rules on nationality must also take due account of union law.”
Commenting further on the EU law, Kizilyurek stated that the right of nationality is defined both by international law and by European law, with the European Convention on Nationality.
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