New measures have been introduced by the government to grant citizenships to Turkish Cypriots of mixed marriages, Deputy Government Spokesman Yiannis Antoniou said on Saturday, without making clear the criteria.

Antoniou was commenting on the 14 points the government announced a day ago to bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the Republic.

Also commenting to CyBC later, political parties raised several concerns over the matter of the 14 points, and namely that of the citizenship point.

Antoniou said that the measures have been introduced to try and break the deadlock in Cyprus talks.

He added that a major issue is the granting of citizenship to Turkish Cypriots from mixed marriages, which has been pending for more than ten years.

“We must look at the cases with a purely humanitarian aspect, without at the same time undermining the political framework for denouncing settlement [of Turks in the north],” he said.

Antoniou added that there are almost four thousand applications pending, some of which fall within the new criteria that have been set.

“The most serious issue is the verification of the evidence and documents presented by the Turkish Cypriots,” he added.

In previous months it had emerged from reports in the north that the number of children from mixed marriages was higher, and many had wanted Cypriot citizenship.

Antoniou alluded to new criteria but was unclear about what the specific new criteria were, something which political parties in Cyprus picked up on.

“There must be feasible initiatives and measures that will strengthen the healthy forces of Turkish Cypriots,” said Disy spokesman Onoufrios Koullas.

Speaking to CyBC, he said that so far, he has only seen headlines, stressing that there should be further information on the part of the government on the measures.

Referring to the measure to grant Cypriot citizenship to children of mixed marriages, Koullas said that Disy wants to study the details and the criteria to be applied, adding that they are confusing.

Akel considers the measures announced by the government for Turkish Cypriots to be measures in the right direction.

Party MP Aristos Damianou said that these are low-policy measures, expressing satisfaction that they include Akel’s proposals. He added that these measures are related to the positive agenda the party is proposing to break the deadlock on the Cyprus problem.

“What needs to be done is to broaden and specify the measures,” he said.

Government-supporting party Diko said that the national council must be informed about the specifics of each of the measures.

They added any such measure should consider the ongoing Turkish occupation and not give Turkish Cypriots the opportunity to enjoy the privileges of “both worlds”, i.e. residence in occupied Cyprus and the status of Cypriot citizen.

“It is obvious that enhancing this possibility will not act in the interest of pursuing a proper solution to the Cyprus problem but will encourage Turkish Cypriots to perpetuate the status quo,” the party said.

In their announcement, the Movement for Resolution of Mixed Marriage Problem called on people to manage expectations.

They clarified that the government had essentially said that according to the official statements made by the Republic of Cyprus, the cabinet Citizenship Application system is currently operated for people who applied for citizenship in the Republic of Cyprus before 2007, whose documents are inside, and who have a document with an application number indicating that their application has been received.

“Until a new statement is made by the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, new applications are not accepted yet,” they said.

They welcomed the move of the government in their announcement, but highlighted that there is still a long way to go.