A government move to grant 14 citizenships to Turkish Cypriots of mixed marriages was welcomed on Thursday by an NGO in battling for the citizenship rights.

The NGO, the Mixed Marriage Problem Solution Movement, welcomed news in daily Politis that there the migration department granted 14 citizenships to Turkish Cypriots, whose one parent is Turkish and the other Turkish Cypriot.

“It’s a very important step in the right path, but we have a long way too,” the group said.

A month ago, President Nikos Christodoulides had announced 14 measures to bring the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the Republic of Cyprus.

In these initiatives, he included expanding the measures to allow Turkish Cypriots from mixed marriages to get Cypriot citizenship.

According to Politis, the 14 were granted citizenship under the newly determined criteria.

The group said that the newly added criterion is regardless of the conditions of occupation, if the Cypriot parent and the resident parent met and married abroad and later settled in the north of the island, the citizenship applications of children with this mixed marriage issue will be approved.

Welcoming the granting of citizenships, the Mixed Marriage Problem Solution Movement said: “We think that this step is an important step. The problem of mixed marriage, which was an issue that no one raised two years ago, now occupies an important place both in Cyprus and on the international agenda.”

They added that they will not allow political issues to get in the way of children’s rights.

“We will continue to fight on this issue, strengthen our ties with the Republic of Cyprus and make this issue a part of history,” they said.

In the Republic of Cyprus, legally, any child of at least one Cypriot parent has the right to Cyprus citizenship. However, a previous provision later added to the law has given the discretion to the cabinet in cases where either of the parents entered the island from the ports and airports in the northern part of Cyprus, or the residence of any of the parents is in the north.

This has left an estimated 10,000 Turkish Cypriot children without rights both as Cypriot and EU citizens.