Cyprus Mail

€90m compensation still owed by Turkey (updated)

Money is owed to the people of Karpasia. Epiphany celebrations there in January 2018

Turkey refusal to pay €90m owed in compensation to families of missing persons and enclaved Greek Cypriots, as ruled by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2014, was discussed by the House refugees committee on Tuesday.

The ECHR had ruled in 2014 that Turkey must provide €30m to the families of missing persons and €60m to Greek Cypriots enclaved in Karpasia.

The House refugees committee heard that Turkey is refusing to pay the sum, arguing the Cyprus government has not taken the necessary preparations to distribute the amount.

The committee was also informed of the foreign ministry’s efforts to promote the issue of missing persons internationally, though any decisions taken, including the decision for the payment of compensation, are being hindered due to Turkey’s stance, committee president Skevi Koukouma said after the meeting.

The committee also discussed the problems caused by a decreasing rate of identifications of missing persons by the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP).

The foreign ministry told the committee that a strategic plan will be drawn up in February to deal with these difficulties, Koukouma added.

Later in the day, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), citing government sources, said that Nicosia is preparing a draft bill to counter Turkish arguments that it is not ready to distribute the compensation owed by Ankara to the relatives of missing persons.

The bill in question is currently at the state legal services for vetting.

The move, the sources told CNA, was part of a general strategy Nicosia is developing to address the humanitarian issue of missing persons.

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