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Cyprus

Case filed against Islamic complex in north thrown out of court

feature esra main protest against the külliye earlier this week
A protest against the construction of a new government compound in north Nicosia

A case filed by the Turkish Cypriot municipality of Nicosia against the unlawful construction of the Islamic ‘presidential’ complex in the Ayios Dometios (Kermia) area was rejected by the court in the north, reports said on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper Halkin Sesi, Turkish Cypriot mayor Mehmet Harmanci said the municipality had filed a case against the ‘government’ for building the complex (Kulliye), set to cost hundreds of thousands and set to include a mosque, a palace and a new ‘parliament’ building funded by Turkey.

The court said Harmanci and the municipality were “unauthorised” to file the case, and that the right rests in the hands of the ‘attorney-general’ in the north.

Two weeks ago, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay arrived to visit the construction site of the controversial Kulliye project under heavy security, warning dissenters are at odds with Turkey and the ‘government’.

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen reported that armed guards and riot police had been placed around the construction site.

The complex will cost around 2.5 billion Turkish lira (€140 million) and will be fully financed by Ankara.

After construction started at the end of September, Harmanci had signalled that the construction site may be sealed off for not having obtained the necessary building permits.

He stated that they had sent a written warning to the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s office.

“Unless all the procedures are complied with, we will have to use all the legal rights given to us by law,” Harmanci said. Municipalities have the authority to seal off constructions that don’t have the necessary permissions.

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