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Stateless

Tens of thousands of Greeks, often ethnic Turks, were stripped of their nationality and now face a battle to regain it.

Last updated: 04 Mar 2014 07:57
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From the mid-1950s until 1998, the Greek government used Article 19 of its Citizenship Code to discriminate against its own population, especially the Turkish ethnic minority in Western Thrace, Greece, but also immigrants to Turkey itself.

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The dispute over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey further exacerbated the problem and tens of thousands of Greek citizens lost their nationality quite arbitrarily, sometimes while they were simply visiting Turkey on holiday.

The law was repealed in 1998, but not retroactively. Those who had been denaturalised would not have their citizenship automatically restored.

Human rights groups and the United Nations have enabled many to regain their citizenship but not without a long and sometimes humiliating struggle.

Many stateless Greeks have had their nationality restored but others have been waiting for decades, unable to re-enter the country of their birth and sometimes tragically separated from their families back home in Greece.

This film looks at both sides of the issue and the campaign within Greece to resolve it.

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