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Greek Cypriot claims over half million damages from Turkey
2005-06-07 15:20:47

Nicosia, Jun 7 (CNA) -- A Greek Cypriot refugee, whose case against Turkey is pending before the European Court of Human Rights, has submitted a claim for pecuniary damages and other compensation in excess of half a million Cyprus pounds (about one million US dollars), Achilleas Demetriades, the lawyer handling the case, has told CNA.

Responding to questions, he explained that the claim was sent to the Court today, in accordance to its recommendation of 6 April in relation to this case, which the Court said it would hear.

Myra Xenidi Aresti, whose property lies in the fenced area of Famagusta town, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, is also claiming compensation for moral damages and court costs.

Turkey, as the respondent government, and the government of the Republic of Cyprus, as an interested party, have about six weeks to present their opinions on Aresti's claim.

The Third Section of the European Court dismissed unanimously, including the vote of the Turkish judge, claims by Turkey that a so-called compensation commission in the Turkish occupied north is an effective domestic remedy with regard to property claims by Greek Cypriots.

Demetriades said that the Court ruling on this case, described by legal circles as ''a pilot case'', reaffirmed all previous decisions relating to property claims by Greek Cypriots and said 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 Court also said 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.''

Turkey, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan points out in his most recent report on Cyprus, continues to have the responsibility of maintaining the current status quo in the fenced are of Famagusta (Varosha).

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