General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTOS), has said that KTOS and the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEOS) have received 6,100 applications from children born from mixed marriages where one parent is Turkish Cypriot and were unable to acquire Republic of Cyprus citizenship.
One year ago, the two teachers’ unions launched a campaign of support and had begun to see positive results when 529 people who are children of mixed marriages, which had taken place abroad, were granted RoC citizenship.
Elcil told the paper that they had categorised the applications and that they had come across various cases, such as children from a marriage between a Turkish Cypriot and a Palestinian and 32 children from two Turkish Cypriot parents, who could not get RoC citizenship.
Elcil said that they had held a meeting with Minister of Interior Constantinos Petrides on 21 August 2018 with positive results and that after the meeting, a unit was established in the Greek Cypriot ministry to deal with the issue. Elcil noted that they had also met with Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, who told them that he would offer them the help they needed. “We were told that the granting of citizenship to children who were born in Cyprus from mixed marriages held abroad would begin”, he said adding that the trade unions had received 437 such applications and 92 persons having this status had directly applied to the South Cyprus authorities.
Moreover, Elcil said that the trade unions had undertaken some initiatives internationally, that the Dutch Mastery University had prepared a report on the issue and that the trade unions had exchanged letters with EU member countries. He also noted that they had conveyed the issue to the UN Committee on Human Rights and that their positions were supported by the US, the UK and Argentina. “While we are carrying out lobbying activities, we also continue the legal examination of the issue. If there is no move on the issue in the future, we will take the matter to court”, he concluded.