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Cyprus

Foreign ministry backs Loizidou in disappointment at ECHR ruling

The European Court of Human Rights

The foreign ministry on Friday supported refugee Titina Loizidou in her claims that the Council of Europe committee decision to essentially drop her case on Thursday was politically driven.

Speaking to CyBC radio, Loizidou said that the committee had had the time since 2005 to achieve the implementation of the decision to restore her property in the north – but that the mechanisms available proved unable to implement the ECHR’s ruling.

Loizidou, who in 1996 won her case against Turkey at the ECHR concerning the restitution and peaceful enjoyment of her property in Kyrenia, on the northern coast of Cyprus, was further told she must head to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in the north.

Director of the foreign ministry Kornelios Korneliou on Friday explained that two nations sympathetic to Cyprus – Italy and Spain – decided that the time had come to end the supervision process, altering the balance.

His comments build on the government’s expressed dissatisfaction with the decision on Thursday with the same-day decision by a Council of Europe committee to end the supervision process in the implementation of a prior ECHR ruling regarding Loizidou’s application against Turkey.

The foreign ministry also said it was disappointed at “the negative role” and involvement of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe in ending the supervision.

“It is noted that Turkey, despite paying some compensation to Ms Loizidou, continues to not comply with its obligation to restore all or part of Ms Loizidou’s property,” it said.

Therefore, it added, “the decision to end the supervision of the implementation of the decision by the Council of Europe is legally unsound and politically problematic.

“At the same time, it sends the wrong messages to Turkey, which the ECHR decision held solely responsible for depriving Ms Loizidou of her property, as a result of the invasion and continued occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.”

The ministry went on to stress that the decision of the Committee of Deputy Ministers does not in any case imply the lifting and/or termination of Turkey’s obligations to restore Loizidou’s property.

Previously, Turkey had asked the European Council committee to close the supervision of the case, following the damages paid to Loizidou. Regarding the restitution of the property, Ankara cited the immovable property commission as a remedy.

 

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