Cyprus Mail

Users given longer to remove buildings from disputed plot

The Larnaca district court on Friday extended a deadline to the users of the Ktima Makenzy event venue to remove any buildings from the plot of which the government took control on Thursday.

The disputed land located in the Mackenzie area of Larnaca will be handed over to the Turkish Cypriot man who inherited it.

The users have until January 31 to remove any construction from the property.

In its decision, the court took into account that the premises were built with light material which can easily be moved.

An officer said the two sides are close to reaching an agreement and it may not even be necessary to move the building.

According to two court decisions, in 2016 and 2018, the “the defendant (the Republic of Cyprus) must give the plaintiff (the owners) the possession of the property vacant and free”.

The interior ministry evicted the users on Thursday morning with a strong police force in a procedure which went smoothly.

Staff were asked to vacate the premises in the presence of the user of the property.

Police officers will remain in the area until January 31.

The lawsuit against the state and the guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties had been filed by Raymond Riza, the son and heir of Fikret Ali Riza who died in the UK in June 2000.

Fikret Ali Riza owned the land in the parish of Skala and was born in Larnaca on February 2, 1926. He emigrated to London in 1951 where he lived until his death.

The property was registered to his son in August 2005. Raymond was born in 1955 and has lived in London since. Like Raymond, Fikret was also a British passport holder.

Raymond sued the state and the guardian, demanding some €958,000 in damages for loss of use between 1975 and 2012, as well as general damages for violating his right to property.

The property in question had been requisitioned, like all properties left behind by Turkish Cypriots in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion in July 1974.

In 1991, it came under the control of the guardian, the interior ministry, whose task is to protect the properties until an agreement is reached by the two sides.

The land was leased and in 2010 the occupant constructed an event venue, Ktima Makenzy, after securing special permission.

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