Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has slammed the Greek Cypriot administration’s decision to revoke the passports of Turkish Cypriot officials, calling the move “racist and unlawful.”
The Greek Cypriot administration will revoke or refuse to issue passports to individuals who participate in the Turkish Cypriot cabinet or are involved in attempts to reopen the ghost town of Varosha (Maraş), government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said on Aug. 23.
“I condemn the Greek Cypriot administration for taking this decision. This is racism, it is wrong from the human rights point of view and it has no legal basis. Such a discrimination cannot be accepted,” Tatar said.
The Turkish Cypriot leader noted that he has not used the passport for years.
“This decision, however, concerns our community, our people. People obtained those passports because of injustices they face and for travel or scholarship purposes,” he added.
The passport is a right, and this right must be respected, Tatar said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Tatar said last month they would reopen part of the former resort Varosha, abandoned since Ankara’s military intervention in 1974.
The current Greek Cypriot administration, which made billions selling passports to thousands of people ranging from Russian oligarchs and a Malaysian fugitive to well-connected Cambodians, said the actions of the Turkish Cypriots undermined the integrity of Cyprus.
Hurriyet Daily News