1st March, 2023
2021 European Commission Report on Turkey, as per articles 44/45, reaffirms the international status of Turkish Cypriots, advises Turkey to refrain from unilateral action and actions that would change the demographic balance, and reminds the Greek Cypriot Leadership that they are responsible for accelerating efforts to facilitate Turkish Cypriots’ accession to the EU.
The Turkish Cypriot community is a founding partner of the Republic of Cyprus and a part of the European Union. The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus should be willing and responsible for facilitating the accession of Turkish Cypriots to the EU.
Various difficulties created by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus at the crossing points and other public services should be ended, the issue of mixed marriages of Turkish Cypriots who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and the inability of the children born from these marriages to obtain the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus should be resolved and the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus should support the work towards including Turkish language as an official EU language.
While European Commission should reconsider the ‘Green Line Regulation’, ‘Financial Assistance Regulation’ and the ‘Direct Trade Regulation’, which could not be enacted; The educational vision of the Turkish Cypriot Community should be reshaped through the European perspective by preparing the “Education and Culture Regulation” in order for schools, students and teachers to be included in the Erasmus+ Program and the universities in the Bologna process.
The pain we experienced in Adıyaman, one of the cities that was hit by the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey, is beyond words. 24 male and female Turkish Cypriot students from Gazimağusa Turkish Maarif College, 4 teachers, 2 trainers and 5 parents who were all in Adıyaman for a volleyball tournament lost their lives in the earthquake. As far as we know, in total, 49 Turkish Cypriot citizens lost their lives in the earthquake. It is an undeniable fact that education, culture and sports should be reconstructed with a more universal and inclusive understanding for the future of the Turkish Cypriot youth. As teachers’ unions, we are ready to take responsibility to be part of a monitoring and reference mechanism, in the issue of providing opportunity to the sports teams of the Turkish Cypriot schools to join the tournaments in Europe along with the ones in Turkey. Such an opening is very significant for our young generation.
This disaster, once again, revealed how important it is for the two communities to act together against natural disasters. We can achieve a better future by not being divided, but by uniting on the common ground and with an equal access of the Turkish Cypriot Community to the European Union rights and practices.
In this sense, we would like to remind that, European Union authorities have an important responsibility in facilitating the accession of the EU citizen Turkish Cypriots to the EU rights and practices in the upcoming period. Furthermore, we reiterate our demands that inter-communal talks begin immediately, confidence-building measures are discussed, bi-communal committees work effectively, and the peace culture education program that has been unilaterally suspended should be resumed for schools as soon as possible.
KTÖS General Secretary