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Cyprus Talks

‘Emotional bond’ criteria in leaders’ discussions on property

Milliyet reported that Anastasiades had asked Akinci for the return of the fenced off city of Varosha from the very first day of a solution

By Jean Christou

Turkish daily Milliyet on Monday said it had accessed the content of some of the discussions between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, much of it focusing on property.

The article refers to how some of the issues surrounding property would be solved with an ‘emotional bond formula’, according to Milliyet’s Sefa Karahasan.

Karahasan wrote that the age of a Greek Cypriot in 1974 would be taken into consideration when determining their return to family property.

“The ‘emotional bond’ age of 10 is being discussed at the table. The religious areas, the properties to be used for security purposes after the solution, the properties which will be vacant after the solution and the unappropriated and unused properties will not be included in the scope of emotional bond,” the article said.

It will be implemented for all other properties, initially for land with buildings or homes and later for empty plots.

The paper estimates that between 162,000-180,000 Greek Cypriots fled south in 1974 and had left behind 1.35 million donums of land or 1,350 square kilometres.

Between 43,000 and 65,000 Turkish Cypriots went north leaving behind 400,000 donums, or 400 square kilometres of land.

The leaders already have a common understanding that individual property rights have been accepted, those who lost and those now using those properties will have different choices based on various criteria including compensation, exchange and return of property that will be overseen by a property commission on which there will be an equal number of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Diplomatic sources told Milliyet that Anastasiades asked Akinci for the return of the fenced off city of Varosha and the beginning of the withdrawal of troops from the very first day of a solution so that Greek Cypriots will see immediate benefits

“With the solution Tymbou [Ercan] airport will open for international flights and your integration with the international community will start,” he reportedly told Akinci.

Akinci, the paper said, argued that the implementation of the solution should be “spread over a reasonable period of time”.

He also proposed the leaders be closed in a room somewhere outside Cyprus to discuss the “critical chapters” like territory. Milliyet said Anastasiades has not closed the door to this suggestion, but wants to do as much as possible on the ground in Cyprus first.

Referring to the rotating presidency, Milliyet said the issue “has been turned into a mystery” but that an agreement in principle had been reached. However, Anastasiades had asked for a re-evaluation, it said.

On population, the newspaper said the leaders agreed on the number of the citizens before the referendum and that the Greek Cypriot population would be 802,000 and the Turkish Cypriot population 220,000. The Greek Cypriots reportedly said that no more than the latter number for Turkish Cypriots could vote in a referendum and opposed any right to vote by the Turkish Cypriots living abroad. Akinci reportedly responded by saying the number of the Turkish Cypriots would not increase beyond this number.

Milliyet said other issues on which agreement had been reached included the proportion in the federal government and the public sector being set at 67 per cent Greek Cypriot and 33 per cent Turkish Cypriot.

The federal state would have no army, only a coastguard, and that all citizens of the united federal Cyprus would be ‘internal citizens’ of both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot founding states.

Those to be elected president and vice president would be able to equally share a term of five years i.e. a person could become president for 2.5 years and vice president for another 2.5 years.

The term of duty in the Senate and the House of Representatives would also be five years. During the first two years, and five months after a solution, the presidents of both would come from the Greek Cypriot founding state and their vice presidents from the Turkish Cypriot founding state.

The number of the judges in the Federal Supreme Court would be eight and if a deadlock was reached in the decision process, the solution would be to draw lots.


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