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Immovable Property Commission’s mandate extended in the north

Tufan Erhurman

The Turkish Cypriot ‘parliament’ on Monday extended the Immovable Property Commission’s (IPC) mandate by two years, but a proposed law aiming to create funding for the body was not discussed.

Opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhurman said “the efficiency and the funding of the IPC will be one of the most important issues in the next parliament”.

Erhurman added there was a risk the ECHR could declare that “the IPC is not an effective domestic remedy” for Greek Cypriot claims on their occupied properties in the north.

The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) last Tuesday upheld a complaint filed by a Greek Cypriot refugee against Turkey over the lack of effectiveness of the IPC.

The body has been dogged by financial issues in recent years as Turkey has reduced its funding and the number of applications has dropped from 337 in 2013 to 65 in 2017.

A draft law which would impose a 20 per cent tax on the sale of Greek Cypriot properties in the north for the funding of the IPC has been sitting in ‘parliament’ for three years.

CTP ‘MP’ Ferdi Sabit Soyer listed a number of suggestions: “the number of employees should be increased, the internal regulations strengthened, funding from the central bank’s budget and 30 per cent of the income from state property rents.”

A number of ‘MPs’ expressed concern that there were still Turkish Cypriots that hadn’t been compensated for properties left in the south.

Communal Democracy Party ‘MP’ Huseyin Angolemli said there were still citizens with points remaining but land was being distributed to others.

“What should our people do, where should they apply to? We need to find a solution to their properties too,” he said.

The‘TRNC’ has a points-based system to allocate properties to Turkish Cypriots who left their homes and land in the south following the Turkish invasion in 1974.

Independent ‘MP’ Mehmet Cakici said there wasn’t a fair system in place for Turkish Cypriots and that some people were unfairly benefitting from distributions.

He called for a separate institution that Turkish Cypriots can apply to to be set up.

The IPC has paid almost £243 million in compensation to Greek Cypriots since 2006.

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