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Cyprus government: ECHR decision answers legal issues on Cyprus issue
2005-05-09 14:30:00

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis

United Nations, May 7 (CNA) – Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations Andreas Mavroyiannis, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the European Court of Human Rights decision to declare admissible a case against Turkey, relating to Greek Cypriot property claims in Turkish occupied Cyprus, stresses that it provides answers to major legal questions inextricably linked with the substance of the Cyprus problem.

Mavroyiannis was referring to the unanimous decision of the ECHR of the 6th April, concerning preliminary objections Turkey had raised in the case of Greek Cypriot refugee Myra Xenides-Aresti.

The Third Section of the Court ruled that a case relating to property Xenides-Aresti is admissible and can be heard. Now the Court is likely to invite the two parties (Turkey and Aresti) to submit their observations before proceeding to hear their arguments on Aresti's claims regarding the violation of her human rights by Turkey, whose troops continue to occupy Cyprus' northern areas.

On the allegations of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies, the Court points out that the so-called law enacted by Turkey’s subordinate administration in the occupied part of Cyprus in respect of the purported deprivation of the applicant’s property cannot be regarded as an “effective” or “adequate” means for redressing the applicant’s complaints.

In his letter, Mavroyiannis notes the ECHR decision “sheds light on and provides answers to major legal questions inextricably linked with the substance of the Cyprus problem”.

He said “we therefore earnestly believe that it can contribute in a constructive way and serve as guidance in our efforts to reach a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

The Court considers that the rejection of a UN-proposed solution plan by the Greek Cypriots does not have ''the legal consequence of bringing to an end the continuing violation of the displaced persons' rights for even the adoption of the plan would not have afforded immediate redress.''

Furthermore, it reaffirms that properties in occupied Cyprus continue to belong to the owners of title deeds issued by the Republic of Cyprus prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

The letter circulated on Friday as a document of the General Assembly.

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