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Compensating all Greek Cypriots through IPC may cost €26bn

vraosha schlimm
File photo: Varosha

The cost of compensating every single Greek Cypriot for every single piece of land lost in 1974 may top £22.4 billion (€26.3bn), former Immovable Property Commission (IPC) chairman Ayfer Said Erkmen has said.

Erkmen was speaking on television channel Kanal Sim and explained that the compensation paid so far through the IPC accounts to around £16,000 per donum (1,000 square metres) of land, and that there are 1.4 million donums (1,400 square kilometres) of Greek Cypriot-owned land in the north.

“If you do this calculation, we get a number. It makes £22.4bn!” he said.

He went on to explain that as of January, a total of 7,473 applications have been made by Greek Cypriots to the IPC, and that of those applications, a total of 1,483 have been resolved, with the agreed compensation figure currently sitting at just shy of €383 million.

“Of course, not all this money has been paid out. There is currently a gap in payments of around €160m.”

With this in mind, he said the “most important problem” facing the IPC is financial resources, and that Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek had suggested that the current user of any given property should pay 20 per cent of any compensation handed out and that the Republic of Turkey would pay the rest.

However, he said this idea was rejected by the properties’ current users, and that as a result, the Turkish government now does not pay into the IPC and nearly 4,000 applications are pending.

Among those applications are for the north’s ‘parliament’ building, which was previously the Dianellos cigarette factory. Dianellos’ descendants demanded €35m in compensation for the building, and no response has yet been given.

On the matter of Varosha, he said applications have been made for 404 of the area’s 824 total properties, while €198m has also been sought for loss of use. These applications have been based on revenues in Ayia Napa, though Erkmen said “I do not find these [valuations] very realistic.”

He also noted the issue of Turkish Cypriot properties in the Republic, saying there are 455,000 donums (455 square kilometres) remaining. This number has reduced since 2016 from 591,000 donums (591 square kilometres), with many Turkish Cypriots having elected to sell their properties.

Earlier, current IPC chairwoman Novber Ferit Vechi had said that in 2023, compensation had been paid regarding a total of 32 Greek Cypriot properties in the north, with the total compensation figure working out at just under £12.2m (€14.3m)

 

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