Citizenship issueFollowing their expulsion in 1944
, initially only the 2,000 or so Chams who were sentenced to death as collaborators were deprived of their Greek citizenship. The remainder, who represented the vast majority, lost theirs under a special law of 1947
Orthodox Chams remained in Greece and retained the Greek citizenship, but without any minority rights.
In 1953 the Albanian government forcefully granted the Albanian citizenship to the Chams, while in Turkey and the United States, the Chams have acquired the respective citizenships.
The Chams demand the restoration of the Greek citizenship as a first step towards solving the Cham issue. The restoration of the citizenship, rather that the regaining of the confiscated properties, is reported to be considered as the primary issue.
They argue that the removal of their citizenship was a collective punishment, when even the Greek courts have charged only a minority of Chams for alleged crimes.
They have demanded dual citizenship,
a policy followed by Greece in the case of the Greek minority in Albania.