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‘Those living in Turkish Cypriot properties have nothing to fear’

Authorities said that those legally using Turkish Cypriot properties have nothing to fear after refugees in Dromolaxia expressed concern after they were asked for money by the Turkish Cypriot owner of the land their houses are built on.

Permanent secretary of the interior ministry Kypros Kyprianou said the move by the Turkish Cypriot man to send a letter to 22 families without his lawyer first addressing the Turkish Cypriot properties guardian, was “unacceptable.” The interior minister acts as the guardian of Turkish Cypriot property located in the government-controlled areas.

The 22 owners of the houses lease the land from the guardian. The letter was sent by the man’s Greek Cypriot lawyer at the end of May.

In it, the man’s lawyer reportedly informed the owners his client is willing to transfer to them or the guardian the title deeds to the land after he receives compensation for it. He also said the guardian did not have the right to lease them his client’s land.

The lawyer, Demetris Papachrysostomou, told Alpha TV the letter aimed at informing the home owners of the situation and that at this stage, his client would not seek legal action to claim his property. He refrained from providing more information.

Reports said the man lives permanently in the north and did not migrate abroad prior to 1974, thus according to the law he cannot claim any compensation for his property in the government-controlled areas. There are reportedly around 400,000 donums of Turkish Cypriot land in the government-controlled areas.

Kyprianou said there have been similar cases in the past but not in recent years.

He said the ministry has already sought the opinion of the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data on whether there has been a violation of the rights of the 22 home owners since the law office had somehow in its possession their names and identity card numbers.

The issue was to also be brought up during a scheduled meeting with the Attorney-general, he said.

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