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12° Nicosia,
17 January, 2022
 
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Cabinet ends citizenship ordeal for mixed couple’s kids

Cypriot nationality of bicommunal brother and sister with Turkish grandfather no longer pending

Newsroom

The President’s Cabinet has granted citizenship to two siblings from a bicommunal mixed family, following criticism that their applications for identification cards were caught in a political stalemate for having a Turkish grandfather.

A government spokesperson said President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday at the Palace where it was decided that Christos Ozturk and his sister Theklia-Yesemina, two pre-teens born to a Greek Cypriot mother and a Turkish Cypriot father, would get naturalized by exception.

Deputy government spokesperson Niovi Parisinou said the two siblings would be naturalized “by exception” as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.

The two children were eligible to become citizens based on their mother alone being a Cypriot citizen, while the Turkish Cypriot parent’s status also qualified for citizenship.

But delays over their application for ID cards revealed hesitation within the interior ministry citing concerns over the paternal grandfather in the family who is from Turkey.

Given the problem in our country that is dealing with occupation, we must be particularly cautious in the way we grant citizenship, precisely so that there won’t be any additional problems'

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris previously stated that there was an issue with citizenship documents when those involved Turkish nationals, saying “this is a delicate issue being handled by the Interior Ministry not now but for many years.”

The Ozturk application was brought to the government’s attention by an MP who inquired back in September over the delayed status of the case.

AKEL MP Irene Charalambides says she sent a letter to Nouris back in early September, including documents attached proving eligibility for the two children.

“But I am sad to see that the issue is being exploited for political reasons and I am very sad especially because there are two underage children involved,” Charalambides said.

But the interior minister insists the delay over the issue was “obvious and very simple.”

“Given the problem in our country that is dealing with occupation, we must be particularly cautious in the way we grant citizenship, precisely so that there won’t be any additional problems,” Nouris said.

It was understood that the Cabinet approved citizenship for the two Ozturk siblings following a request by Nouris himself, who said a day earlier he was going to recommend naturalization under specific circumstances.

“All the necessary research has been done in the case and we believe the parameters we will clarify can satisfy the ministerial council on this issue,” Nouris was quoted as saying.

Cypriot nationality of bicommunal brother and sister with Turkish grandfather no longer pending after President's Cabinet weighs in

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Cyprus  |  citizenship  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  Turkey  |  nationality  |  Nouris  |  Charalambides  |  naturalization  |  passport  |  ID card

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