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24 March, 2023
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Council of Europe discusses property rights of Greek Cypriot refugees

Nicosia has asked the Committee to express its grave concern to Turkey that the unconditional obligation to pay damages has been neglected for so many years

Source: CNA

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is holding its quarterly meeting in Strasbourg, from September 20 to 22, to oversee the execution of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights. The meeting takes place in the aftermath of Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe, following its invasion of Ukraine. The Russian Federation ceased to be a High Contracting Party to the European Convention on Human Rights on September 16.

Representatives are expected to discuss, among others, the property rights of Greek Cypriots who were displaced from the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, a cluster of the 2001 “Cyprus v. Turkey” European Court decision. The Turkish side asks the Committee of Ministers to proceed with the closure of the examination of this issue, in a memorandum submitted last June.

Nicosia on the other hand says in a memorandum, issued last August, that the Committee should express its grave concern that the unconditional obligation to pay damages in 33 cases of the Xenides-Arestis group of cases, concerning Greek Cypriot properties in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, has been neglected for many years, despite the Committee’s repeated calls for the Turkish authorities to pay the sums awarded by the Court.

Deputies should instruct the Secretariat to prepare an interim resolution requiring the Turkish authorities to pay without delay the just satisfaction awarded by the Court in those cases, the memorandum goes on.

Nicosia also suggests that the representatives of member states should resume consideration of the individual measures in the Loizidou case once Turkey has provided information and details concerning the users and development status of the Greek Cypriot applicant’s property in the Turkish-occupied areas.

In a letter to the Committee of Ministers, on September 13, the legal representative of Greek Cypriot applicants with property in the northern part of the island, says that Turkey is in default of its unconditional obligation to pay the damages awarded from May 2007 onwards, to the tune of more than €30 mln and that “no explanation has been offered.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Europe

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