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Turkey agrees to pay damages to Greek Cypriot
2003-06-19 14:04:04

Nicosia, Jun 19 (CNA) -- Turkey has announced that it would pay damages worth nearly one million dollars to Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou, for human rights violations in Cyprus, with regard to property rights.

Loizidou and her lawyer Achilleas Demetriades welcomed Ankara's decision as a positive move but stressed that Turkey also has to allow Loizidou access to her property in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus for peaceful enjoyment, as prescribed in the relevant judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.|

According to reliable sources from Strasbourg, Turkey's permanent representative to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe told a Committee meeting today that his government had begun taking the necessary measures with a view to allow the Committee to ascertain at its meeting in early October the payment for just satisfaction to Loizidou.

The Cypriot and the Greek representatives sought certain clarifications from their Turkish colleague who assured them that his declaration did not contain any preconditions and explained that the damages will be paid by October this year.

''This is a very positive move which shows that the system for respect of human rights is functioning properly, in spite of delays. It also shows that Turkey is forced to execute the Court decision without any terms,'' Loizidou told CNA.

She pointed out, however, that it was very important for Turkey to allow her access to her property in occupied Cyprus.

Demetriades told CNA Ankara's decision is ''a milestone for the respect of human rights because the supreme law of Europe, namely the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights, has despite difficulties been upheld.''

Turkey, he said, ''has acknowledged the value of the judgments of the Court and now one has to concentrate on the second level of the judgment which is the restoration of the peaceful enjoyment of Loizidou's property in Kyrenia.''

''I would hope that the system will again manage to enforce the judgment of the Court,'' he added.

The Court ordered Turkey to pay 600,000 dollars for loss of use of the property, 40,000 dollars for moral damages and about 260,000 dollars for costs, in addition to eight per cent interest as of 28 July 1998.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory. The invasion troops forcibly uprooted from their homes and properties some 200.000 Greek Cypriots, one third of the island's population.

CNA MM/GP/2003

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