Cypriot MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek is calling on the European Commission to clarify why the EU is slow-walking the process of making Turkish an official language of the EU.
According to his Facebook account, the 60-year-old Turkish Cypriot MEP, who was elected on the AKEL party ticket in May, submitted a formal question to the European Commission to breathe life into an old letter by President Nicos Anastasiades on the language issue.
“The Turkish language is an important step to bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU. Through a question, I reminded (the Commission) of a letter by President Anastasiades on establishing Turkish as an official language of the EU,” Kizilyurek wrote in Greek while also posting a longer comment in Turkish.
Anastasiades emphasized the decision had been taken in anticipation of positive developments in efforts to reunify the divided island
According to local media, the Cypriot MEP has asked the European Commission to list what steps it planned to take in establishing Turkish as an official EU language, while also citing a letter by the Cypriot president back in 2016.
Anastasiades reportedly wrote a letter in February 2016 informing the EU Council, the Commission, and the European Parliament that Turkish was an official language of the Republic of Cyprus.
“I write this letter to inform you of the decision taken by my administration to actively pursue the introduction of the Turkish language as an official language of the European Union,” the president wrote.
Additional reporting on the letter also pointed that Anastasiades emphasized the decision had been taken in anticipation of positive developments in efforts to reunify the divided island.
Slow-walking & implentation costs
But peace talks had since collapsed while media sources said EU bureaucrats were slow-walking the process and asking Nicosia to hold back citing enormous implementation costs to the Union.
The Republic of Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish, based on its original constitution back in 1960. Neither language had to be implemented for the island, as Greek was already an official language when Greek Cypriots joined the union in 2004.
According to Kizilyurek, a political scientist who held a position at the University of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus are eagerly awaiting for their mother tongue to be on the list of EU languages.
The academic professor also pointed out that his own election to a seat in the European Parliament was made possible with votes from both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot registered voters.