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Cyprus

Nicosia satisfied with CoE decisions on GC properties in north

Titina Loizidou

Nicosia said on Saturday that it was satisfied with the decision adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regarding Greek Cypriot properties in the north following a session marked by the absence of Turkey.

However, there are some points of concern, particularly with regard to the possible closure of the Loizidou case by next December, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The committee adopted three decisions regarding Turkey’s compliance with Court judgments Cyprus v. Turkey, Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey and Varnava and Others v. Turkey. The focus in the first two cases was on the property rights of displaced Greek Cypriots following the 1974 Turkish invasion.

The case of Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot applicant with property in Kyrenia, is part of the Xenides group.

According to CNA, the Committee of Ministers expressed regret over the decision of Turkey not to participate in recent discussions in Strasbourg, between September 18 and 20.

Turkey’s absence has to do with the fact that the Loizidou case is still open for review by the Committee. Ankara said last June that closing the Loizidou case was a precondition for the country’s continued cooperation with the Committee of Ministers.

Although the decision was expected, the reference pointing to a possible closure of the case by next December is deemed as less satisfactory by Nicosia.

The Republic of Cyprus has three more months until the next review and the effort to get Turkey comply with its obligations continues.

Human rights lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, representing most of the applicants concerned, told CNA that Turkey aimed at closing all 33 individual petitions in the Xenides-Arestis group upon paying damages to Greek Cypriot owners for the loss of use of their property. After that, Ankara intends to refer all claims for restitution to the immovable property commission, operating in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, he added.

He said moreover that by employing this tactic, Turkey will not be obliged to proceed with the restitution of the property of Xenides-Arestis in the fenced-off part of Famagusta or of the properties of Loizidou in Kyrenia.

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