Citizenship Rights Debate: Advocacy for Equality in Cyprus

Niyazi Kızılyürek - Euro MP
[Niyazi Kızılyürek – Euro MP]
European Parliament Member Niyazi Kızılyürek organised a meeting to delve into the topic of “Citizenship in the Context of Human Rights”, Kibris Postasi reports.

The discussion took place at the Turkish Cypriot Public Servants Union (KTAMS) Hall and saw the participation of politicians, journalists, union representatives, and numerous families affected by the denial of Cypriot citizenship and European Union membership rights, particularly those in mixed marriages.

During the panel, prominent Cypriot lawyer Achilleas Demetriades underscored that Cypriot citizenship is a constitutional entitlement for every child born to a Cypriot parent. Demetriades pointed out that this right was not being withheld by court rulings but rather by political decision-making bodies. He encouraged Turkish Cypriots facing citizenship denials to persist in their demands and advised patience in legal processes, recommending that applicants gather documentation from all parties involved, appeal within the specified timeframe if rejected, and preferably apply for citizenship with a registered lawyer in the Republic of Cyprus. Demetriades lamented, “This is our tragedy“.

Cypriot Greek legal expert Prof. Nikos Trimikliniotis emphasised that the denial of citizenship amounted to a violation of fundamental human rights. He stressed that the Republic of Cyprus had an obligation to acknowledge, safeguard, and enforce the right to citizenship.

Representing the Association of Stateless Persons, lawyer Can Azer remarked that the exclusion of these children perpetuated division rather than promoting peace, highlighting the political nature of the decision. Azer expressed gratitude for the support of European Parliament Member Niyazi Kızılyürek and emphasised the importance of the upcoming June 9 elections in addressing the issue. Providing insights into the association’s efforts, Azer mentioned their meeting at the Cyprus Presidential Palace, where they demanded the implementation of laws, expressing disappointment in the lack of response to their travel requests until the matter was resolved.

European Union legal expert Dr. Latif Aran outlined the option of bringing citizenship grievances before the European Court of Justice.

European Parliament Member Prof. Dr. Niyazi Kızılyürek affirmed that denying citizenship to Cypriots born from mixed marriages violated both the Cyprus Constitution and the fundamental principles of the European Union. He reiterated their dedication to keeping the issue in focus and advocating for it, emphasising their stance on considering it a violation of human rights.

Kibris Postasi

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