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Cyprus condemns property exploitation in occupied areas
2005-04-25 14:07:57

Nicosia, Apr 25 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has condemned the continuing exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties in the island's Turkish occupied areas, pointing out that it is doing all it can to put an end to this violation of international law.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has also stressed that this exploitation would not have been prevented even if a UN-proposed solution plan had been accepted and recalled a European Union call on Ankara to respect judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) relating to property rights.

''The government condemns every exploitation of property and is doing all it can to prevent this flagrant violation of international law and human rights and the contempt of Court decisions,'' the spokesman said, adding that respect for these rulings is one of Copenhagen criteria which all EU aspiring members must fulfill.

The spokesman noted that all this is taking place as the Turkish premier and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community present themselves as being transigent.

During this period, he said, illegal immigration is on the rise, Greek Cypriot properties are being usurped with an alarming rate and there is a demographic change taking place in occupied Cyprus.

Responding to questions, he said the number of illegal Turkish settlers has increased to 140,000 from an estimated 100,000 previously.

The spokesman said the verbal attacks by Mehmet Ali Talat against Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos were ''unwarranted'' and he wondered if Talat's aim it to torpedo any attempt to resume negotiations for a political settlement.

Fending off criticism that property exploitation would not have taken place, had a UN solution plan been accepted, Chrysostomides said that Lord David Hannay (former UK special representative) acknowledged in his book that the complexity of the UN proposals regarding settlement of property disputes would not have been that far different from Turkish designs on the matter.

''The continuing exploitation of property in the occupied north is a policy Ankara is pursuing and it would not have been averted, had the Annan plan been approved,'' he said.

Responding to questions, he said that the European Union had called on Ankara to comply with ECHR decision in the case of Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou and allow her access to her property for its peaceful enjoyment.

''It takes a political decision to implement the Court ruling and such a decision has not yet been taken with regard to this specific case,'' he added and wondered why the international community tolerates such violation of law and order.

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