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Cyprus

Auditor-general probing Turkish Cypriot property mess

Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides is investigating whether staff in the Turkish Cypriot property administration service were related to people who were granted such land, it emerged on Tuesday.

Speaking at the House refugee committee, Michaelides said in three cases where Greek and Turkish Cypriot land had been exchanged, the go-ahead had been given by female staff of the service whose husbands worked for companies involved in the transaction.

Specifically, there were two cases of land exchange in the Limni area, Paphos, and one in Asomatos, Limassol.

The apparent mismanagement of Turkish Cypriot properties re-emerged recently after Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos went public with the names of people and companies using such properties without being eligible.

Following the 1974 Turkish invasion, properties abandoned by Turkish Cypriots in the south were, by law, put under the protection of the interior ministry, or the guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties.

Because of the need to house Greek Cypriots who were displaced from the north, it was decided to allocate such properties to them – usually for a small fee – on condition that the owners would not lose their rights.

 

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