If Turkey continues to insist on granting more citizenships to settlers, it could damage the population ratio numbers agreed at the Cyprus negotiation table. Turkey has demanded that TRNC citizenship be granted en masse, to a further 26,000 Turkish settlers, General Manager and Chief Editor of Yeni Duzen Cenk Mutluyakali reports.
“This demand has been submitted repeatedly at all levels starting with Turkish President Erdogan to Prime Minister Davutoglu, from ministers to permanent undersecretaries, and it was rejected”, writes the columnist. He adds that the reply given to the Turkish authorities was that “this will happen within the framework of the new law”. The columnist adds the following:
“Now it is once more asked that this law and the criteria to be ‘a dead letter’. The reason for the lack of interest in the white identity card practice is actually the message sent by some that ‘you should wait’, because Turkey’s Cyprus policy did not accept the ‘white identity card’ from the very start. Instead, ‘Direct citizenship’ is being demanded. And this is one of the elements which ended the CTP-UBP coalition government.”
The number of Turkish Cypriots who possess an identity card or Republic of Cyprus passport is around 100,000. The latest data says it is 98,287. There is also the number of 114,000 TRNC citizens additionally accepted at the negotiating table. Basically it is a provision for all citizens in the North to become ‘United Cyprus’ [citizens] in the event of a Cyprus settlement.
If another irresponsible step is made again, it will cause serious damage both to the negotiating process and especially to the status of the mainlanders who have taken TRNC citizenship by coming to the island since 1974, Mutluyakali concludes.