Responding to recent claims by Serdar Denktash that the number of people living in the occupied areas is as high as 800,000, “deputy prime minister” Kudret Ozersay announced that the occupied north has 351,000 registered “citizens”.
According to Yeni Duzen, speaking on Bayrak television on Thursday, Ozersay said that of the 351,000 “citizens,” 61,000 of them live abroad.
Ozersay was also called to comment on statements made on Thursday by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on the the need to hold a population census.
The “minister” claimed that some numbers were confused and argued that it was not right for politicians to refer to a specific figure.
He said that in the “ministry’s” register there were around 290,000 “TRNC citizens” who live in the occupied area of the island and 61,000 live abroad. The number of those permanently residing in the occupied area is different, he added.
On Thursday Mustafa Akinci had said that said that the number of “TRNC citizens” increased by 130,000 during the past 3.5 years.
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”.
“The official number for the population was given to me 3,5 years ago as 220,000. The number given by the interior ministry one-two weeks ago, that is the number of those having the identity of the ‘TRNC’ is 343,000. The number publicly announced by the esteemed [interior] minister later is 350,000. In this case, the number of our citizens increased by 130,000 in 3.5 years,” Akinci said.
During the previous administration, around a 1,000 persons were granted citizenship every month, Akinci said.
“The starting point of the population problem is that we do not have a serious census. Let’s turn and look forward, say where we are going, what we want to do in this country and how we will proceed from now on,” the Turkish Cypriot leader said.