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Freedom of Movement ?

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Joined: 04/07/2008
Posts: 16617

Message Posted:
18/07/2008 13:05

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TURKISH Cypriot holders of a Republic of Cyprus passport are not being allowed to exit Turkey for a third country unless they have a ‘TRNC’ passport, reports from the north said yesterday .

The new ‘rule’ came into effect from July 1 and Turkish Cypriots have complained they were not informed they needed a ‘TRNC’ passport to go on to another country.

A number of families going on holiday were not allowed to leave Turkey with their Cyprus passports and did not have ‘TRNC’ ones so they could exit ports and airports in Turkey.

Most Turkish Cypriots can enter Turkey with an identity card but if they want to travel further they need to show a passport to exit Turkey for third countries.

Thousands of Turkish Cypriots hold Republic of Cyprus passports which gives them free access to EU countries.

Greek Cypriots have been free to travel to and from Turkey without restriction since 2003.

Ortam newspaper said the new rules were agreed between Turkey and the administration in the north, and had upset many Turkish Cypriots. It also pointed out that the move would probably just prompt more Turkish Cypriots to use Larnaca airport to leave the country.

Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democrat Party (TDP), was quoted yesterday in Afrika newspaper as saying the move was a restriction of the free movement of Turkish Cypriots.

The paper also said the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents’ Union had issued a statement advising Turkish Cypriots to use a ‘TRNC’ passport when travelling in and out of Turkey.

Turkish Cypriot ‘Prime Minister’ Ferdi Sabit Soyer denied there had been an agreement with Turkey over Cyprus passports. He said the agreement concerned only the use of identity cards between the north and Turkey.

Asked about the difficulties being experience by some Turkish Cypriots when travelling through Turkey, Soyer said: “The practice of entering-exiting with an identity card is valid in the journeys between the TRNC and Turkey. The exit from Turkey for abroad is made with passport. Therefore, exit with the passport of the TRNC can be made,” he said.

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