PRESS AND INFORMATION OFFICE
Under the title “Population is the biggest problem”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(15.03.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the number of “TRNC citizens” increased by 130 thousands during the past 3,5 years. Addressing yesterday a ceremony on the occasion of the Medicine Day, Akinci noted that around 400-500 persons are granted “citizenship” every month by the current “government” and underlined the need of holding a population census and of preparing a “citizenship law”. He said, inter alia, the following:
“[…]The official number of 220 thousands was given to me for the population 3,5 years ago. The number given by the interior ministry 1-2 weeks ago, the number of those having identity of the TRNC is 343 thousands. The number publicly announced by the esteemed [interior] minister later is 350 thousands. In this case, the number of our citizens increased by 130 thousands in 3,5 years.
During the period of the past government, around a thousand persons had been granted citizenship every month. The current government grants around 400-500 citizenships every month. These are the citizenships granted by the ministry during the normal process. This number is not the 3-5 persons announced by the council of ministers. […]
The starting point of this issue is a serious population census. Let us put forward the situation and then let us turn and look forward, say where we are going, what we want to do in this country, what and how we program and how we will proceed from now on. We know that work is being done on the citizenship law, but somehow it cannot come out from the files and come to the light. It must come. […]”
“Ozersay: ‘351 thousand citizens exist, 61 thousands of them are abroad’”
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(15.03.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that according to the “register” of the “ministry of interior”, 351 thousand “TRNC citizens” exist and 61 thousands of them live abroad. Speaking yesterday to a group of journalists on a program of illegal Bayrak television, Ozersay was called to comment on statements made yesterday by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on the population issue and the need of holding a population census. Ozersay claimed that some numbers were confused and argued that it was not right for politicians to refer to a number on this issue. He said that in the “ministry’s” register there were around 290 thousand “TRNC citizens” who live in the occupied area of the island and added that the number of those permanently residing in the occupied area is different. He argued that the number of “citizens” could not be given with a population census, because there are some “citizens” who live abroad. He also said that the “interior minister” would make a written statement on the population issue.
Referring to the “citizenship law”, Ozersay said that the “government” was working on the matter since it came to “power” and claimed: “Statements as if someone is trying to delay this issue should be avoided. This government is taking the population issue seriously. We take steps which include the entrances to the country and the exits and the citizenship law. […] An effort was exerted to put an order to the citizenship practice and a distance was covered. Is this enough? No, it is not. This is why we have prepared more than one citizenship draft-laws and we will send them to the assembly within ten days”.
When one of the journalists recalled to him that two years ago Akinci had said during the Cyprus negotiations that the number of population in the occupied area of the island was 220 thousands and asked him whether the Greek Cypriot side will accept the population which increased to 354 thousands now, Ozersay alleged that it was not correct to say that the “TRNC citizens” will not become “citizens of the common state” in case they exceed a certain number. He claimed that the data of the “interior ministry” should be taken as basis, that the data given by the “government” were “consistent” and that if Akinci misunderstood something, this could be overcome.
Referring to the four parties in the “government”, Ozersay said that there was a harmony in general among them, but there were issues on which serious debates were taking place. He recalled that the four parties cooperate by preserving their views on the Cyprus problem and added: “When the way for the solution of the problem is discussed, everyone speaks on behalf of his party, but when policies on issues such as the future of the negotiations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the isolation, the representation of the Turkish Cypriots in various organizations are discussed, the fact that the foreign minister carries out these [policies] should not be undermined. […]”
Asked whether he would suggest in the “assembly” to abandon the discussions for finding a federal solution in Cyprus since he had stated that the majority of the 50 “deputies” did not consider the federal partnership to be realistic, Ozersay replied that he had made the above-mentioned statement after the “speaker of the assembly” referred to a consensus among the political parties following a closed-door session of the “body”, and added that normally he would not have made such statement. “There is not much time left until the presidential elections. The newly elected person will determine the course within the framework of the power he will be given by the citizens”, he argued.
Commenting on Serdar Denktas’ statement that the current “government” would continue even if all party leaders became candidates in the “presidential elections”, Ozersay said he did not think that this statement was sincere and added that he could not confirm it. He noted that a “different environment” could be created during the “election campaign”. Asked what his stance would be in case the opposition National Unity Party proposed to support his candidature for the “presidency”, Ozersay replied that he did not bargain for another “government” when there was a “government”.
Asked on the issue of adopting the “presidential system”, Ozersay noted that he did not say that they should definitely abandon the “parliamentary system”, but some “constitutional amendments” should take place. He said that the “provisional article 10” of the “constitution” was important and argued that this “article” should be discussed in parallel to a “defense and military agreement” with Turkey. He underlined the “need of clarifying the powers” of the “president” adding that a “president”, who was directly elected by the “people”, should have more powers in the interior matters as well and his powers in the Cyprus problem should be clarified.