Resolutions adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly
FORTY-FOURTH ORDINARY SESSION
RECOMMENDATION 1197 (1992)
on the demographic structure of the Cypriot Communities
- Historic events led to the de facto division of the island of Cyprus into two parts. Almost
the entire Greek-Cypriot community lives in the southern part, controlled by the
Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Almost the entire Turkish-Cypriot community
lives in the northern part controlled by the Turkish Administration.
- According to the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the population in the southern
part was estimated at 575 000 at the end of 1990, whereas the figure was 505 700 for
- This would give a rate of increase of 13,7% for the period 1974 to 1990.
- According to the Turkish-Cypriot Administration, the population in the northern part
was estimated to be 171 500 at the end of 1990, as against 115 600 in 1974. This would
give a rate of increase of 48,35% for the period 1974-90.
- As the natural rates of increase in the population, based on the number of births and
deaths, are comparable in both parts of the island, the population growth in the north must
be due to a substantial influx of migrants.
- It is an established fact that, from 1975 onwards, Turkish nationals arrived in the
northern part of Cyprus, where they settled on a long-term basis. The waves of migrants
were particularly large in 1975 and 1977 because, even on the lowest estimates, they
represented 10% of the Turkish-Cypriot population at that time. Subsequently, there was a
smaller, but steady flow. A fairly visible presence of Turkish armed forces is also to be
noted in the northern part of the island.
- The aim of the Turkish-Cypriot administration's policy regarding the Turkish migrants
has been to encourage their permanent settlement in the island. Migrants are granted
housing, land or properties on special terms. However, the most important measure has
been to allow them to acquire Cypriot nationality and hence political rights. The legal texts
give the authorities discretionary power in this matter.
- The Greek Cypriots are extremely concerned at the arrival of the Turkish migrants. At
first, the Turkish Cypriots regarded this injection of manpower as essential. Today, the
growing number of migrants, their naturalisation and the important role that some of them
play in political life have given rise to wide divergences within the Turkish-Cypriot
- The presence and naturalisation of the Turkish migrants, who once established on the
island become settlers, constitute an additional obstacle to a peaceful, negotiated solution of
the Cypriot conflict.
- The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
- instruct the European Population Committee (CDPO) to conduct a census of the island's
population, in co-operation with the authorities concerned, in order to replace population
estimates with reliable data;
ii. request the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-Cypriot administration
to keep the arrival of aliens on the island under strict control;
iii. appeal to the Turkish-Cypriot administration to reconsider the legislation on
naturalisation in force in the part of the island it controls, so that no changes in the
demographic structure of the island result from the application of such legislation;
iv. promote the establishment of a climate of trust between the two Cypriot communities;
- invite the guarantor powers of the Republic of Cyprus to respect the provisions of the
1959 agreements scrupulously, especially with regard to the presence of armed forces in
vi. invite Turkey to register in its Cyprus Consulate all Turkish citizens residing and
arriving in Cyprus;
vii. give its full support to the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations to
achieve the rapid re-establishment in the whole of Cyprus of a law-based state accepted by
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