Anastasiades blunders settler numbers

President Nicos Anastasiades said that he had mistakenly told reporters that around 90,000 Turkish settlers in mixed marriages, or children of mix marriages would remain in the new federal Cyprus.

Saying that he had been tired after a four hour-long meeting with President Mustafa Akinci on Friday, he wanted to clarify his error.

On Sunday, Anastasiades said that based on figures to hand, there were currently 117,545 Turkish Cypriots who have registered as citizens of the Cyprus Republic. However, there was a number of Turkish Cypriots who had not registered, and this has been calculated at around 12,500 people, bringing the total Turkish Cypriots to around 130,000. The maximum number of settlers possible to be in mixed marriages or are children of mixed marriages, were no more than 90,000, he had said.

However, on Monday, following more talks with Akinci, Anastasiades said that in addition to the 130,000 Turkish Cypriots who have registered as citizens of the Cyprus Republic, there are an estimated 25,000 living in England who are TRNC citizens.

That brought to 155,000 the number of the Turkish Cypriot population for whom it has been agreed will live in the Turkish Cypriot constituent state in a reunified Cyprus, he said.

And if we calculate that back in 2004 mixed marriages, and their children, were around 18,000, which would bring that number up to 25,000 today, then adding these [the 25,000] to the 155,000” would tally to 180,000.”

Therefore, Anastasiades said, the remainder would come to 40,000 [220,000 minus 180,000].

The two community leaders have agreed on citizenship figures at 220,000 for Turkish Cypriots and just over 800,000 for Greek Cypriots under a solution.

Anastasiades stressed that, post-settlement, a Turkish national would be granted Cyprus citizenship only once four Greek nationals had obtained citizenship, maintaining a 4 to 1 ratio.

Opposition parties in the south were angered by the idea that Anastasiades had mistakenly agreed to allowing more settlers to remain in the north after a settlement than was agreed in the 2004 Annan plan.

Under the 2004 UN peace plan which was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and approved by Turkish Cypriots in separate simultaneous referendums, up to 50,000 Turkish settlers would have been allowed to stay on the island.

Despite this, just before the referenda were held, the Turkish Cypriot side produced a list of only 41,000 names of settlers who would have stayed on the island, a number even less than the 50,000 threshold agreed at that time.

Cyprus Mail

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