23 September 2007

Citizenship and the Cyprus Republic

The Cyprus Mail, located in the Greek-dominated south of the island, is to be commended for publishing this piece by Turkish-Cypriot Alkan Çağlar: Why the Republic of Cyprus is institutionally racist. As readers may recall from an earlier post, Çağlar has argued that Turkish-Cypriots are descended from converts to Islam from the island's Latin and Maronite christian communities after the Ottoman conquest in 1571. His current article calls attention to the plight of a mainland Turkish woman, married to a Turkish-Cypriot, attempting to gain citizenship in the Cyprus Republic. By behaving in such a petty way towards this couple, the legally-recognized government in the south is hurting its own cause by increasing the possibility of a permanent "apartheid" of the island and further tempting the international community to recognize the status of the TRNC.

In his mid-20s, Çağlar is still a young man. However, if Cyprus is ever to be reunified and its people reconciled, people like him will have to move into positions of influence on both sides of the divide.

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can be contacted at: dtkoyzis@gmail.com