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New regulations to legitimise use of Turkish Cypriot land

Farmers using government or Turkish Cypriot land will have to apply to legitimise its use by signing contracts and paying rent, it emerged on Wednesday.
“Anyone cultivating state or Turkish Cypriot land without a contract must apply to the interior ministry to legitimise possession by renting the property, through the proper procedures,” Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyiallis said after a meeting with Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos
Farmers must start applying in the next few days.
“The land registry will check the applications to determine whether the users occupy the land legally and also receive subsidies,” Hasikos said.
If they fail to apply, the government will cut part of the subsidy, he added.
Turkish Cypriot land in the government controlled areas has been taken over by the state pending a settlement of the island’s division.
However, over the years there have been numerous reports of mismanagement and recently the interior minister said they were looking into overhauling the legislation regulating the matter.
Case in point was a report on Wednesday in daily Alithia newspaper that a number of Turkish Cypriot land sales that took place in the past would be probed.
The paper said that land was bought from its Turkish Cypriot owners and after a short period it was resold at a price that was much higher than the land registry value.
Kouyiallis said such matters must be investigated by the attorney-general.

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