Greek Cypriots with property in Turkish-held Famagusta and Kyrenia, call on the Council of Europe to look into their cases, due to the ineffectiveness of the immovable property commission (IPC) which has no jurisdiction in properties located inside “military areas”.
Human rights lawyer Achilleas Demetriades sent a number of letters to Strasbourg, ahead of the June 5-7 meeting of the Committee of Ministers, which is expected to examine the personal measures of property owners in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.
Acting on behalf of the applicants, he notes that damages awarded for the loss of use of their property following the 1974 Turkish invasion have not been paid by Turkey.
Applicants also ask for the restitution of their property rights.
Speaking to CNA, Demetriades said that the main argumentation follows the ECHR ruling in the recent “Joannou versus Turkey” case, over the ineffectiveness of the IPC.
Applicants with property in “military zones” in Kyrenia include Diogenous-Tseriotis, Demades and the owners of Rock Ruby Hotel.
These owners don’t wish to apply to the IPC “as it is ineffective”
Moreover, Hadjiprocopiou and Xenides-Arestis have property within the fenced-off area of Famagusta.
These owners don’t wish to apply to the IPC “as it is ineffective”.
With regard to damages awarded by the Court, applicants say they “rely on the Committee of Ministers to bring about the payment of the Just Satisfaction awarded”.
Finally, applicants expect that Turkey will allow them to obtain possession and use of their properties, as part of their individual measures.
The lawyer says that the IPC is not competent to deal with restitution of properties in military areas “and thus applying to it would simply be ineffective.“
Demetriades underlined the fact that the immovable property commission was found to be ineffective.
“The proof for that is the Joannou case ruling, which established that there has been a violation”. “The Turks admitted this and did not appeal,” he said.
He argued there was no point in applying to the IPC, since it has no jurisdiction over “military areas” such as the fenced-off part of Famagusta or the “military zone” in Kyrenia.