Sude Doğan: The main reason for the mixed marriage problem is not that ‘we are without identity or statelessness’! – Summary of Interview with Murat Kanatlı in Yeniçağ Gündem (EN)

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Murat Kanatlı: Today, on Yeniçağ Gündem, we are hosting dear Sude. Sude Doğan is the founder and activist of Movement for Resolution of Mixed Marriage Problem (Karma Evlilik Sorunu Çözüm Hareketi). Everyone thinks they know the best about this topic and are sure of everything; but that is not the case. We will discuss about the citizenship of children in mixed marriages, a subject that is most misunderstood by society.

In our society, everyone thinks they know this subject very well. Everyone says “What do you mean, I will marry someone, and my spouse’s country will not give me an automatic citizenship? It can’t be like that.” There are also more than one movement around for this issue. Some people are attempting to do something. There has been a lot of confusion lately regarding this issue of mixed marriage children. Who is doing what? A court decision comes out, and even if you say that the court is not very relevant to your problem, our society immediately reproaches, “The court of the Republic of Cyprus rejected us.” It’s a topic that has seriously confused everyone, especially lately. Where would you like to start?

Sude Doğan: I want to start from when we were founded. We were founded last year, in April 2022. Before we were established, the ‘mixed marriage problem’ was not even a known issue, let alone not occupying the political agenda. It was an issue that no one had thought about and probably would not have come to anyone’s mind if we had never initiated such a movement. And I said, “If it is our responsibility to solve this problem, just as it is our responsibility to solve all the problems in this country, we are going to do it.”

We started such a movement about a year and a half ago, and it hit the public agenda like a bombshell. And after that, this issue was embraced by various unions, various political organizations, and various other non-governmental organizations. I am very happy about this. Because now, this problem is said to be one of the biggest problems in the north of Cyprus and before we revealed this issue, no one actually cared about this issue. Nobody was talking about it. That’s why I’m happy, of course, we have achieved something great.

Why there are two movements?

As everyone knows, the first organization established on this issue and aiming to initiate the first social mobilization was our organisation, Movement for Resolution of Mixed Marriage Problem. We started our movement, which attracted everyone’s attention, and opened our movement for the participation of everyone who wants to support the solution of this problem, whether they have this problem or not. Our movement has grown a lot. We set out with the ideology of “This movement is everyone’s movement.” Huge discussion groups were formed. But of course, I would like to point out that our organization has had a certain organizational system, various committees, and various management levels since our establishment. Later, we had disagreements with some people on certain points. And because we had disagreements on certain points, a group of people chose to break away from us and formed a different formation, rather than agreeing and compromising. As I said, it’s no problem if the sound comes out from different channels; but what is important is that this struggle is waged in the right track and in the right way. Because the issue of mixed marriage is a very politically sensitive issue as much as the Cyprus issue. And even our slightest wrong step can cause great harm to us and the children with mixed marriage problems.

Although there were different reasons behind this separation, the main reason was a situation of a protest. Last year, a few people, who would form the current Kimliksizler group, wanted to do a protest in the Republic of Cyprus, about a month and a half before the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus. They wanted to protest; however, until then we had not had any bureaucratic contacts in the Republic of Cyprus. The first thing our organization thought was: “Let’s make bureaucratic contacts first. There will be a change in the president and government of the Republic of Cyprus in a very short time. Let’s use this time to create our contacts. If they do not respond positively to us, let’s prepare an action plan accordingly. Let’s use our time well. Protesting is the most powerful tool of struggle. The more people we can gather there, the better. That’s why action requires serious preparation.”

“There is already a month and a half left until the elections. Anastasiadis are not even participating in the next elections. Is there a need for us to take this action right now for a government that will leave in a month and a half? Let’s postpone this protest for a while and make bureaucratic movements first,” we said. The opposing group did not want to postpone the protest. They wanted to do the protest immediately and quickly. We said, “If you do not postpone the action and suddenly make your first appearance in the press of the Republic of Cyprus with such a protest, there may be an antipathy towards the children of mixed marriages, the Republic of Cyprus may make of children of mixed marriages’ passages from checkpoints difficult or even completely prevent them; because it depends on the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus for children and spouses of mixed marriages, that is, people who do not have RoC citizenship or any other EU citizenship, to pass through the checkpoints.”

In fact, something like that happened. We published this statement just before the protest, and various journalists even wrote about it. You can go and ask the children and spouses of mixed marriages who experienced this yourself, how difficult the passages from checkpoints became after that protest.

In short, this is the obvious reason for this ‘separation’.

Murat Kanatlı: Now I want to come to another topic that causes a confusion in society. There is a supreme court process which is dismissed a few weeks ago. Everyone makes a different comment about that. What is the latest situation in the courts regarding that?

Sude Doğan: We, as the Movement for Resolution of Mixed Marriage Problem, have already received these documents from the courts a very short time ago. I will give a detailed explanation about these documents in this program. The last case that was dismissed by the RoC Supreme Court and everybody heard that this dismissed case was about RoC not returning to the petitions; but it is not. Mr. Metin Hakkı has already filed two cases in the RoC Administrative Courts and won two cases regarding non-return of petitions. The applications made to this Supreme Court were individual applications. I will not say here who made these applications. A Turkish Cypriot working with a lawyer from the south. The argument in this court application filed with 16 people was: “these children are stateless, and the Republic of Cyprus is making these children stateless.” They applied by showing some several international agreements of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, based on articles such as ‘leaving refugees and children stateless is a crime’. But unfortunately, as people who understand a little bit about international law know, we, the children of mixed marriages, do not actually have a situation such as ‘statelessness’. We are ‘dual nationals’. Because our foreign parent is also a citizen of Turkey or another recognized country and can pass on his citizenship to his child. Our other parent is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus and cannot pass on his citizenship to his child due to political reasons. The main reason for the problem of mixed marriage is not that we are ‘without identity or statelessness’. In fact, due to political reasons, we cannot access the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus, which is our legal right to obtain citizenship from birth and through blood from one of our parents. The ‘statelessness, lack of identity’ case was dismissed in the high court. The Supreme Court said: “If you were truly stateless, yes, the Republic of Cyprus would have a position to claim you. But unfortunately, all of you are citizens of the Republic of Turkey or can become citizens. Therefore, there is no such thing as statelessness.” We had previously made a statement about this on our social media accounts. This Supreme Court decision is not a big deal. We already said this in our booklet that we published in June 2023. “Arguments of lack of identity or statelessness are not appropriate arguments for the problem of mixed marriage.”

The term ‘statelessness’ is a completely different thing in law. Stateless people mean people who do not and cannot have access to any recognized citizenship in the world. Even if one of our parents is not a Turkish citizen, anyone with a trnc ID can become a Turkish citizen.

Murat Kanatlı: The new president of the Republic of Cyprus, Hristodoulides, is also talking about a new initiative package for Turkish Cypriots. Each reader interprets that expansion in a different way. What is your comment on this issue?

Sude Doğan: Frankly, when Mr. Hristodoulides was first elected, I was a little hesitant. However, I am positive now because of his nice attitude towards us. I think Mr. Hristodoulides is sincere about the package. However, it should not be forgotten that the package is also a political package. If Mr. Tatar continues to distance himself from the United Nations negotiation talks, the announcement of this package may be delayed. Normally, we expected the package to be announced on September 22. We have had contacts in the Republic of Cyprus before and they are aware that the mixed marriage problem is a serious problem in humanitarian terms. The authorities in the Republic of Cyprus have gradually begun to work to solve this problem for the children – but not for the spouses, by the way. But as you can imagine, mixed marriage problem is a very complex political problem, almost like a mini version of the Cyprus problem. Since so many politics is involved, it can be called an extra-legal, above-legal problem. Of course, we need to gain the sympathy of the Greek Cypriot base to make the job of the Republic of Cyprus officials easier. Because currently, there is an antipathy among the Greek Cypriot base towards children with mixed marriage problem due to various actions and discourses outside of our own. They are trying to create a perception as if we, the children of mixed marriages, do not want or recognize the Republic of Cyprus, we only want the rights of the European Union. They are trying to create the perception that we are not interested in the rights offered by the Republic of Cyprus’ own citizenship. As an association, our aim against this distorted perception that is trying to be created is to explain to the people we address that we need to work with the Republic of Cyprus instead of cursing the Republic of Cyprus. Because this problem is not a problem that can be solved neither in the European Commission, nor in the European Union, nor in the United Nations. There is a legal term we call ‘land law’, and citizenship laws are laws that are seen within the scope of land law and states are in the field of private law. In other words, as the answer we received when we sent a petition to the European Commission: “citizenship law depends on a country’s own sovereignty.” There is not much the European Union, or the European Commission can say or do, other than lobbying. That’s why we need to keep good relations with the Republic of Cyprus and work together to solve this problem. In other words, instead of attacking the Republic of Cyprus as ‘racist and fascist’, we need to solve this problem by negotiating in a more understanding and bureaucratic manner.

We published a booklet in June. There, we tried to present concrete information about the mixed marriage problem in its most understandable form. We wrote down why this problem is not actually related to racism and racial discrimination, and what political reasons create this problem. The booklet is still available on our website. You can also enter and look.

The problem of mixed marriage is a problem that can be solved very easily. But as I said, a proper struggle is required for this.

Murat Kanatlı: You already mentioned this in an interview in Politis Newspaper. Avrupa Newspaper even published the translation of this interview. You also said in this interview that you recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Sude Doğan: Yes; because this is an issue that really needs to be emphasized from our perspective. Because the issue of mixed marriage was not known in the Turkish Cypriot base, and it was not a well-known issue in the Greek Cypriot base either. And the actions, or rather the lack of proper discourse and visibility before the protests, have frankly brought us to a point where children with mixed marriage problems are antipathetic among the Greek Cypriot base.

“We are aware that the Republic of Cyprus does not discriminate against us on this issue. We are also aware that the decision of the Council of Ministers taken in 2007 was a political decision and that it was taken for various political reasons and for reasons that may be justified. However, while you are trying to take this decision to prevent the spouses of mixed marriages from getting married in the north of the island and becoming citizens of the Republic of Cyprus just to access EU citizenship, you also prevented the citizenship of the children of mixed marriages, who are not guilty of anything.”

“And yes, we know, you are aware of our problem. You know that this problem is a serious humanitarian problem, and you want to solve it. Please solve it as soon as possible and make these children feel more belonging to their state.”

“We are not Turkish nationalists, Turkey lovers, anti-Greek Cypriot people as you might expect. We were born in Cyprus. We grew up in Cyprus. One of our parents is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus. We feel like we belong here. I did not choose to be born within the borders of the so-called state trnc, which is a de facto structure. For example, children of mixed marriages whose parents married in Turkey or another recognized country and who were born there can still obtain Republic of Cyprus citizenship today. What is the difference between us and them? “We did not choose to be born in the occupied zone.”

In short, the only reason why we cannot obtain RoC citizenship is that the occupation, so-called state trnc being involved.

Our family may have given birth to us in the trnc, the occupation zone, which is a de facto structure. You may be calling our foreign parents ‘settlers’. But what about us? Should we, children, be punished for our parents’ wrong choices? Please do not put political issues before the citizenship rights of us, children.

While a child of a mixed marriage born in a recognized country can obtain RoC citizenship, why can’t a child of a mixed marriage have born in the trnc? After all, we are not the ones to blame for the so-called state trnc structure being here. We did not choose where our parents would marry or where we would be born. Why should we pay the price for these?

The Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus states: “Children of whom one parent is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus have the right to citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus.” When the Republic of Cyprus entered the European Union harmonization process in 2002, an addition was made to this article: “However, if the foreign parent entered the island through ‘illegal ports’, that is, through the sol-called state trnc, the citizenship of the child is subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers.”

Between 2003 and 2007, all mixed marriage children and their spouses could apply to the Council of Ministers and obtain Republic of Cyprus citizenship. But unfortunately, the following situation occurred: citizens of third world countries started to make fake marriages with Turkish Cypriots just so that they could gain European Union citizenship. And these fake marriages, as you know, are a crime in all states. As you know, the Republic of Cyprus cannot take any precautions in the north of the island and cannot impose any sanctions to prevent these fake marriages. That’s why government took such precautions bu implementing a decision of Council of Ministers.

So far, we are trying to tell the Greek Cypriots understand our struggle. As Hristodoulides said, there needs to be a formula that does not grant citizenship to spouses; but does not deprive their children of their right to citizenship in the Republic of Northern Cyprus due to a foreign spouse.

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Another issue I would like to mention is this: I received invitations from many international conferences and met with organizations abroad that could be stakeholders. The first question they asked me was: “Do you know the population in the so-called state trnc? Or do you know how many children with mixed marriage problems there are in the so-called state trnc? Or can you find it?” I was stuck. I said:  “No, there has not been an official census in the north of the island since 2011 and I will not be able to officially reach this number.”

Murat Kanatlı: So, again, it comes down to the fact that the existence of the TRNC is a problem. In short, if trnc exists, everyone is in trouble.

Sude Doğan: I want everyone to know this: at least speaking for my own position, the main problem in the emergence of the mixed marriage problem is not the Republic of Cyprus. The real problem is that there is a de facto structure called trnc and this region is referred to as the ‘occupation zone’ in international law and political literature. The problem of mixed marriages is not about the Republic of Cyprus being ‘racist’. If the Republic of Cyprus was racist against the Turks or against us, the Turkish Cypriots, why can children of mixed marriages whose parents married in Turkey or another recognized country and were born there still receive citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus? This is a very important question that everyone interested in this topic should ask themselves. Yes, there is a distinction between children of mixed marriages; but this distinction arises not from the Republic of Cyprus, but from the so-called state trnc itself. For example, even our hands are blocked because there will be no census in the so-called state trnc. Currently, the fake government in the so-called state trnc will not agree to a census anyway. We are currently thinking about what we can do, how many children have problems in mixed marriages, how can we reach all of them?

Murat Kanatlı: There is a comment on YouTube: “Our children born in 2002 and 2006 could not receive it. There may be a mistake in your information.”

Sude Doğan: Let me explain this right away: The decision of the Council of Ministers was taken in 2007; but the decision of the Council of Ministers does not say anything such as “Republic of Cyprus will grant citizenship to children born until 2007.” I keep repeating the same thing. With the decision of the Council of Ministers taken in 2007, the Council of Ministers stopped receiving applications from children of mixed marriages born in the so-called state trnc as of 2007. For example, I am 23 years old. I was born in 2000. My family, for example, applied for my Republic of Cyprus birth certificate as soon as the checkpoints are opened. But they did not apply for an ID because I was not old enough to apply for an ID at that time. Until 2007, the Council of Ministers processed the applications of children of mixed marriages born in the so-called state trnc. Those who could do it did it, those who were quick to apply at that time, their procedures were completed before 2007 and they received citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. Children of mixed marriages born in the so-called state trnc, who quickly applied to the Council of Ministers before 2007 and whose application was approved, received citizenship at that time. Of course, there are applications that have been received and are still pending, and whose processes have not continued after the decision in 2007. These children were also mentioned as a category in Hristodoulides’ expansion.

Murat Kanatlı: There is another comment: “My parents got married in trnc. I was also born in trnc. My brother was born in Ankara and received an identity card from the Republic of Cyprus. We applied at the same time.” It’s exactly the situation you just described.

Sude Doğan: Exactly. As I always say, if you were born abroad in a recognized country, there is no problem.

Murat Kanatlı: This brings into question the reliability of birth certificates in trnc.  Our fake authorities also come out and declare that “our documents are excellent.” The courts are still trustworthy, though. In other words, you can take a document received from the trnc court to a court in the Republic of Cyprus and register it. But they have trouble recognizing other trnc documents. I don’t know if anyone will ask why. So, the reason is clear. In other words, while some people should be ashamed of the insecurity of these documents, they say “our glorious Turkish Republic is alive, we will always keep it alive.”

The booklet you just mentioned is also available on your website. It seems like a very comprehensive booklet.

Sude Doğan: Yes, this has been one of our biggest works so far. In fact, our biggest goal since we were first established was: “To explain the concrete information about this problem, the entire history, legal and political background, to our target audience, and to show that they should defend their own rights without allowing anyone to deceive them.”

I was 21 years old when I first established this organization. Before starting this movement, I saw that there was a lot of hearsay information, and this hearsay information made it difficult for us to solve this problem permanently. I wanted to stop this hearsay information and my goal from the very beginning was to publish a booklet. I wanted our own audience to learn how to defend their own rights and that no politician should deceive them. Because the north of the island is such a place that we must advocate for our own rights in order to access even the simplest rights, politicians are always after some benefit for themselves. Many of them have no other concern than filling their own pockets, and even if they seem to care about our problem, they don’t. That’s why we must be our own voice.

Murat Kanatlı: Actually, anyone can access this booklet, discuss it, and learn the definitions. Of course, if we need to go back to the previous topic, for the sake of reminding, children of mixed marriages born in TRNC, before 2007, applied to the Council of Ministers and received TR citizenship with the approval of there. In the period between 2003 and 2007, Interior Minister Neoklis Sylokitis from AKEL was doing his best to speed up these applications from the Council of Ministers.

Citizenship is a matter of sovereignty. There are various practices in various parts of the world to prevent fake marriages. In England, for example, the police from the Immigration Office come to your house and investigate whether that marriage really exists. It will request documents from you regarding this. This is the part that is missing here in Cyprus. In other words, the Republic of Cyprus does not have the ability to control this in the north.

Sude Doğan: Since our governors now are not open to cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus in any way, they make our situation a little moredifficult on the issue of mixed marriage. Because the Republic of Cyprus has no way of knowing or controlling the population coming here. Ours does not disclose the population or there is no mechanism to check whether there are fake marriages, we are stuck.

There are even cases in the ECHR that can be cited as examples of this. The Ramadan vs Malta case can be an example. This person is a foreign national. She married a Maltese citizen and even had a child, just so she could gain EU citizenship. That’s why all other countries also approach such issues cautiously.

As I said, children of mixed marriages whose parents got married in Turkey or another recognized country and were born there can still obtain citizenship.

But what can I say? This is where things like ‘marriage in the TRNC’, ‘birth in the TRNC’, ‘entering the island from illegal ports’ come into play. “You entered the island illegally and I cannot control anything from your entry to your marriage.”

It is also estimated that there are currently 15,000-20,000 children with mixed marriage problems in the north of the island. No state in the world can suddenly make so many people citizens. That’s why this problem needs to be solved gradually. But we always want everything. We do not want to look at this situation realistically. Instead of understanding why it needs to be resolved gradually, we continue to attack by saying, “The Republic of Cyprus has no intention of solving this problem.” We don’t even know the exact number here yet, or how will we know the children of mixed marriages who will be born from now on, and how will we reach them?

We should focus on resolving these issues and strengthen our relations with the Republic of Cyprus before attacking the Republic of Cyprus. Instead of wasting our time or doing other things, we need to contact the authorities in the Republic of Cyprus, explain our real problem to these people, introduce ourselves and bring ourselves to the fore. We, the children of mixed marriages, must do this ourselves. We must seek these rights ourselves, not someone else, a spokesperson, for us. We must introduce ourselves to the Republic of Cyprus. This is the point we are trying to embrace as an organization. Our NGO’s administration consists entirely of children of mixed marriages. We need to learn to defend our own rights and not be deceived by any politicians.

Murat Kanatlı: The insistence of the person in the previous comment continues: “The Greek Cypriot community gave me a birth certificate, I could not get an ID, I applied in 2003. Ms. Sude’s knowledge is wrong or incomplete. “An article was added to a law in 2005 and the issue spiraled.”

Sude Doğan: I explained it many times and wrote it in the booklet. Let me say it one last time here. A birth certificate and citizenship are not the same thing. A birth certificate does not replace citizenship in any country. You can get more detailed information from the booklet. As you know, legally the entire island belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. So, the entire island is counted as the Republic of Cyprus. The north of the island is under Turkish occupation; But again, this is the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. When any child, whether you or anyone else, is born on the territory of the island of Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus issues a birth certificate to him/her to register his/her birth. This includes a Pakistani child, a Palestinian child, and another child. The birth certificate again has little to do with the issue of mixed marriage.

You applied in 2003. Your application was accepted and rejected for some reason. You had to follow the why because the point you are asking is an individual point. How can I comment now without knowing why it was rejected? You may have had a special situation. However, this is not an issue that shows that other children of mixed marriages born in the so-called state trnc did not receive RoC citizenship at that time. There are still people whose files are still pending after applying to the Council of Ministers. With the decision of the Council of Ministers in 2007, the entire system regarding mixed marriage children born in the TRNC and mixed marriage spouses married in the TRNC was stopped. The existing system was stopped with that decision. No official action has been taken since that date.

Also, can you show us which article in which law was changed in 2005? Because I guarantee you that after 2002, there was no change in the Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus in the law of citizenship by birth. You can also log in and check it yourself on the Republic of Cyprus government’s page. Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus, last regulation 2002, Article 109, paragraph 1, citizenship by birth. I am not speaking without any proof whatsoever. I suggest you look again.

Remember, I am also a child with a mixed marriage problem, and like all of you, I want this problem to be solved. Please remember, our movement is the one that first brought this issue to the agenda. If we really didn’t want it resolved, we wouldn’t bring it up.

Murat Kanatlı: There are a lot of comments. I guess we will go through the comments in this program. We will even have to make programs at certain intervals. A lady says: “Are the muhtars in the north recognized in the south?” Not, they are not recognized. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. In different periods, there were times with double muhtars in Dipkarpaz and Kormacit just for this reason. There were different muhtars, those appointed or considered elected by the Republic of Cyprus and those elected by so-called state trnc.”

She continues: “How can a law work retroactively? Shouldn’t the release date be forward? “It is not possible to change neither marriage nor birthplace,” she says.

Sude Doğan: The decision of the Council of Ministers issued in 2007 is not a law. As the name suggests, it is a decision of the Council of Ministers. The article in the 1999 Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus that concerns us was as follows: “if one of the parents of the child is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, he/she is automatically a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus.” Later, as you know, the Republic of Cyprus entered the European Union harmonization process in the 2000s. Many laws have changed in the Republic of Cyprus during the European Union harmonization process. One of them was this law that concerned us. The following was added to the rest of the law: “If one of the parents is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, that child has the right to become a citizen; However, if the foreign parent has entered the island illegally, the citizenship of that child is subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers.”

Such a process took place between 2003 and 2007. The Council of Ministers was receiving applications from children and spouses of mixed marriages born in the so-called state trnc. Due to the increase in fake marriages in the north, in 2007, applications of mixed marriage children and spouses whose foreign parents entered the island illegally, who got married in the north of the island, and who were born in the north of the island were no longer accepted, by the decision of the Council of Ministers. This is the reason why applications cannot be made right now, and the system is not working.

Murat Kanatlı: A gentleman says: “To say that the Republic of Cyprus has joined the European Union and other international unions means that it has also entered under the obligation to comply with their status. Therefore, it is not only on the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Sude Doğan: Yes, the European Convention on Human Rights is binding for the Republic of Cyprus. However, I must add that a country’s citizenship laws have never been a subject discussed within the scope of human rights. For example, I am very careful and say, “The problem of mixed marriage is a humanitarian problem.” I try not to use the term “human rights violation”; because, as we have said many times within the scope of human rights, citizenship laws are not implemented. Citizenship laws depend on a country’s national sovereignty.

For example, I also examined very closely the Loizidou vs Turkey case, which is one of the most important cases in the ECHR regarding the Cyprus issue. I think the case can be related to our problem. Because this case is also related to the issue of immovable property. Our problem is a problem related to citizenship. In short, the two biggest problems at the heart of the Cyprus conflict. And if the mixed marriage problem ever goes to the European Court of Human Rights, I think this case will be used in jurisprudence, as is the case with most of the cases that go as Cyprus vs Turkey. Everyone has a saying about the mixed marriage problem: “The Republic of Cyprus is violating Article 14, violating the prohibition of discrimination.” So, what do we see when we examine the Loizidou case? “…The policy of the Turkish authorities is to create an apartheid regime based on racial discrimination, in violation of Article 14 of the ECHR and subsequent international law…” It is said that Turkey was the first to discriminate in terms of racial discrimination in previous cases. Article 14 has been used in favor of the Republic of Cyprus and against Turkey in the ECHR. This question is always floating around in my mind: if we apply to the European Court of Human Rights, “Turkey violated the prohibition of discrimination in Article 14 by occupying the north of the island and Turkey moved its own population to the occupied region. It is not the Republic of Cyprus that creates discrimination, but the Republic of Türkiye in the first place. Greek Cypriots living in the south cannot access their properties in the north of the island, and their immovable property rights under the ECHR are violated. Will we get an answer like “Turkey is the one who created the first discrimination”? This is a point that confuses me a lot. Because in jurisprudence, in the Cyprus vs Turkey cases, Article 14 is generally used against Turkey and in favor of the Republic of Cyprus.

Or Article 8 of the ECHR, the family integrity article. Does the Republic of Cyprus really prevent the family integrity of children with mixed marriage problems? Is there a situation where families will be deported or cannot travel together? No. Therefore, I think that Article 8 of the ECHR has not been violated and that we should approach this issue not from these points but from the points where we can be right.

Murat Kanatlı: Another gentleman also wrote a comment: “My mother is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus; my father is Turkish. They married in Turkey; I was born here in the trnc. I have received a birth certificate before from RoC; but they said you cannot get an ID. Then they said he came to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.” Everyone is in a state of waiting.

Sude Doğan: Yes, everyone has thousands of personal problems related to mixed marriage problem of course I understand. But we need to solve the root of this problem and start a social movement. Instead of waiting, we should raise awareness about the problem of mixed marriages and advocate for our own rights. In addition, just as there is little information about the problem of mixed marriage in our society, civil servants working in the Republic of Cyprus do not have much information either. That’s why I say we should always learn and teach.

Murat Kanatlı: The lady from earlier continues as usual: “No, the Republic of Cyprus accepts documents in the trnc.” No, they are not accepted, they are not recognized. Just as a ‘side-document’, some documents are requested from the trnc to be included in the file. But documents received from trnc are not processed in the Republic of Cyprus or any other country.

Sude Doğan: So-called state trnc is a structure that is de facto, not recognized by any country. Therefore, documents received from institutions in the TRNC have no validity in other countries. Documents of the occupied area are not processed.

Murat Kanatlı: Mr. Olgun, who made the previous criticism, continues: “Mrs. Sude cannot even say that it is a violation of human rights.”

Sude Doğan: This account is a fake account opened purely for provocation; I know this account; but I will answer anyway. Why don’t I say ‘human rights violation’? Please go look at all the international human rights conventions. The national sovereignty of that state is responsible for the citizenship laws. This is not something that can be evaluated as ‘absolutely violating’ any article within the scope of human rights. In other words, it is not something like freedom of expression or the ban on torture. That’s why you shouldn’t say ‘human rights violation’, or if you are going to say it, you need to have concrete evidence. The problem of mixed marriage is a huge human problem; However, if we say before international law, before the judiciary, ‘There is a human rights violation here,’ will we prove that it has violated one hundred percent of which article of the European Convention on Human Rights?

I have already mentioned Articles 14 and 8 of the ECHR. I’m just trying to use the correct terminology so that we can proceed cautiously and not make any wrong statements. Citizenship laws fall within the scope of private international law, not human rights law.

Why did I say at the beginning of the program that this problem is a extra-legal problem? Because, in cases where the Cyprus conflict is the subject of the Cyprus conjuncture, politics seriously comes into play. The decision of the Council of Ministers taken in the Republic of Cyprus is a political decision. It is a political decision taken for political reasons. Removing or changing this Council of Ministers decision will also be a political decision.

This problem is not a problem that is impossible to solve if we tackle it correctly. As children with mixed marriage problem, we need to explain ourselves that we have adopted this country as our homeland and that we are also Cypriots, and we need to defend our rights ourselves. Instead of believing the rhetoric of politicians who are trying to benefit from this issue and gain votes, we should read, learn, produce our own discourse, and try to solve this problem ourselves. Political problems should not get in the way of these children’s right to citizenship, we must defend this.

Children of a mixed marriage born in Turkey, or another recognized country still receive citizenship today. Those born in the occupied zone, that is, in the so-called state trnc, cannot receive it. The basis of the problem is that the so-called state trnc is an occupation zone. However, children of mixed marriages are not the occupiers here. We were born here; we grew up here. We made Cyprus our home. Even if our foreign parent chose to come here, why should we, the children, pay the price? We didn’t choose to be born here; we didn’t choose where our parents got married.

Murat Kanatlı: Mr. Olgun says: “Mrs. Sude does not know anything. See Article 198 of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Sude Doğan: You can always come with as many questions or arguments as you want. As I said, I don’t comment on anything unless, I’m sure. What is Article 198 of the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus? Let’s just read the first sentence:

“The following provisions are in force until a citizenship law incorporating these provisions is made.”

Do we need to read further? He says that the provisions of Article 198 were valid until the Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus was made. And now there is the Citizenship Law of the Republic of Cyprus, and we are talking about that law, I hope you are aware of that.

Well, before the program ends, let me mention one last point and end it like that. Do you know what the ‘Law of Necessity’ is? Why was the Doctrine of Necessity put into effect in 1964? Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the administration of the Republic of Cyprus and a gap was created in the Constitution. In fact, there is not even a Constitutional Court in the Republic of Cyprus now. The Doctrine of Necessity is a doctrine established to ensure that the functioning of the state continues despite the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriots from the administration of the Republic of Cyprus. Do you know what is written in that doctrine? “Turkish Cypriots cannot benefit from the rights of the Republic of Cyprus because they have withdrawn from the administration of the Republic of Cyprus.” So normally, even Turkish Cypriots who have both Cypriot parents should not be able to obtain citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus, because of that doctrine. But since Turkish Cypriots are also members of the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Cyprus took an initiative so that they could benefit from EU rights, and when the checkpoints were opened, it started to grant Republic of Cyprus citizenship to Turkish Cypriots. I even remember that a journalist wrote when this mixed marriage issue came to the fore and Turkish Cypriots protested in the Republic of Cyprus: “If you are going to behave like that, you will also lose your Republic of Cyprus identity.” Yes, the fact that Turkish Cypriots currently hold Republic of Cyprus citizenship is a situation provided by the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus. I don’t know how many people are aware of this; But there are also various articles written on this subject. Let me leave this here as a warning. While you are trying to use the mixed marriage issue to attack the Republic of Cyprus, please do not deprive all Turkish Cypriots of their citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus.

Murat Kanatlı: It seems that Mr. Olgun wants to continue his comments and discussions. Many comments have accumulated; But we have come to the end of the program, it looks like we will host you again soon. Is there anything you want to say lastly?

Sude Doğan: I have always tried to be an open book to you and to be transparent. I tried to present and teach you all the concrete information I researched and learned. As you know, you can contact me whenever you want and ask any questions you want. But I kindly ask everyone who is interested in this subject to visit our website and read our booklet. See you again.

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