A survey of Turkish Cypriots living abroad began last week at the Enfield Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said that attempts would be made to canvas all Turkish Cypriots the world over. National representative offices and other agencies and local events will be used to disseminate the questionnaire, which is designed to determine respondents’ professions, age groups, dates of migration and where they live now.
Özersay said that the project aimed at Turkish Cypriots living abroad, which is part of a government programme, is not just census-taking, but rather recording their opinions and expectations of the TRNC state and the community. The project will be consolidated in the UK in July after the registration phase, so that the TRNC government can decide on its next steps, he said.
The deputy PM stressed that to date, the government has no particular attitude regarding “giving the right to vote to Turkish Cypriots living abroad” and no decision has been taken in this regard.
In an interview, Özersay told a TAK news agency correspondent that the project is intended aimed at “Strengthening the ties of our citizens living abroad with our country as the main purpose but it also encourages people to return to our country”, he said. Additionally, that it was important to foster a stronger identity for Turkish Cypriots abroad living within the international community.
Local festival events held abroad in the coming weeks will be used to operate the survey said Özersay. He also said that there will be a website advertising the project and social media tools will be used to build up communication.