Cyprus Mail

Loizidou: property return always the goal, Skourides hit with delays

Titina Loizidou

By Peter Micheal

Titina Loizidou, a Kyrenian refugee, said that the return of her property has always been the goal, in a comment made Saturday on the latest developments at the Council of Europe’s Ministerial Committee, while another refugee, Nicolas Skourides, has been met with delays to construction of his home in his restored property in the north.

Regarding Ankara’s compliance with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on compensation but it was not returned to her as per the ruling, Loizidou told CNA: “Turkey has still not complied to ECHR’s 1996 decision for the restoration and peaceful enjoyment of my property in occupied Kyrenia, and that is why I was in Strasbourg last week to meet with a large number of representatives.”

Loizidou also sent a letter to the representatives on the Ministerial Council, requesting they keep her property case open.   On Thursday, the Turkish delegation walked out of the meeting towards the end of a three-day session of the Committee of Ministers, which is charged with supervising the execution of ECHR judgments.

The protest was related to the discussion concerning Greek Cypriot properties in the north and Ankara had attempted to end the supervision in some of the cases but had failed to persuade other delegations to pass a relevant decision.

Regarding property restitution, Ankara has suggested that the ‘immovable property commission’ (IPC) in the north be the remedy of Greek Cypriots, who filed cases with the ECHR.

Another Greek Cypriot refugee, who gained access to his land in Lapithou, has encountered delays in the construction of his home.

Nicolas Skourides, 78, who had been given his property after applying to the ‘immovable property committee’, is forging ahead with construction but is being delayed due to the lack of proper-licensing from ‘authorities’ in the north.

The ‘mayor’ of the village, Fuat Namsoy said the construction could continue, when all the proper licences were issued.   He added that he was not aware how long it would take for Skourides to receive the licences as they had to be approved by the ‘regional head’.

Namsoy added that the delay in construction had nothing do with the outrage of Skourides’ would-be neighbours.  Last week, residents of the village reportedly started collecting signatures to overturn the decision of the IPC.

Police had to go to the area due to the tension, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen reported, adding that poles marking Skourides’ land had been removed following complaints that they were blocking the

Skourides insists he is determined to build his home in the village, despite the reactions.  “I want to die, where I was born,” he said.

He added that he had paid a deposit to a Turkish Cypriot contractor, who had filed all the necessary applications, and told him they could start construction without all the licences.

Construction, Skourides said, started 15 days ago.  He added that at first the Turkish Cypriot residents of the village encouraged him to proceed. However, when construction began, he noted, a number of residents filed complaints with the Turkish Cypriot authorities saying Skourides’ home would ruin the view.

Skourides said he had gone to the village on Monday and attempted to talk with one of the individuals that filed the complaint, but was unable to.  The work though will continue as soon as the appropriate licenses are received Skourides said.

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