Cyprus: Information on whether a citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has any right to citizenship in the Republic of Cyprus, and if so, on what formal procedures must be taken
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 July 1996|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CYP24587.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Cyprus: Information on whether a citizen of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has any right to citizenship in the Republic of Cyprus, and if so, on what formal procedures must be taken, 1 July 1996, CYP24587.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab2018.html [accessed 23 May 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The following information was obtained during a 10 July 1996 telephone interview with the counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington. DC. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not recognized as a legitimate state by the UN Security Council. The only legal state in Cyprus is the Republic of Cyprus. An individual has the right to automatic citizenship if his/her father or grandfather is Cypriot. If only the mother is a Cypriot, that person can apply for citizenship, but there is no guarantee the applicant will be accepted.
If an individual does not have parents or a spouse who are Cypriots, but wishes to become a citizen, he or she must reside in the country for several years before applying for naturalization. The counsellor stated, however, that applicants below 21 years of age can register for citizenship right away. The application procedure for naturalization is made through the Ministry of the Interior.
The counsellor stressed that citizenship is not granted to everyone, and in particular mentioned individuals who do not enter the country legally. The counsellor also stated that there is a growing number of illegal immigrants living in Cyprus, and that many of them are Turkish.
The following information was obtained from Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995. Under Cypriot law, women in the Greek Cypriot community "face discrimination that denies them the ability to pass on citizenship to their children if they marry foreign spouses" (1996, 836). The law also permits only Greek Cypriot males "to obtain expeditious naturalization for their foreign spouse" (ibid.).
Country Reports 1995 also states that Turkish Cypriots "living in the government-controlled areas face difficulties in obtaining identification cards and other government documents" (ibid., 836). Harassment and surveillance by the Greek Cypriot police has also been reported. (ibid.).
For further information on citizenship, please consult the attached copies of the 1967 Citizenship Law and the 1969 Citizenship Regulation of the Republic of Cyprus.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Below please find the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995. 1996. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, Washington, DC. 10 July 1996. Telephone interview with counsellor.
Additional Sources Consulted
Amnesty International Report. Yearly. 1995.
Documentation , Information and Research Branch (DIRB), Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa. "Amnesty International: Cyprus" Country File. 1989 to present.
DIRB. "Cyprus" Country File. 1979 to present.
The Europa World Year Book 1995. 1995. 36th ed. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications.
Republic of Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus Citizenship Regulations, 10 January 1969. Appendix B9 (official translation).
_____. 1967. The Republic of Cyprus Citizenship Law, 28 July 1967. (official translation).