Famagusta municipality welcomes European Court ruling on Turkey
Nicosia, Dec. 28 – The Municipal Council of the Turkish-held town of Famagusta has welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding property rights of Greek Cypriots, saying that it paves the way for the return of the "ghost" town to its rightful inhabitants.
The ruling concerns the case of Greek Cypriot refugee Myra Xenides-Aresti against Turkey and stipulates that there is continuous violation of her right to property and its peaceful enjoyment, by virtue of the presence of the Turkish military, which exercises effective control in Famagusta and prevents Mrs. Aresti from returning home.
The Municipal Council notes that this is the first time the ECHR has vindicated a citizen of Famagusta by establishing violation of her rights by Turkey.
The Municipality considers the ruling a recognition of the violation of property and homes of all refugees, citizens of the eastern coastal town of Famagusta.
Furthermore, it considers that the positive elements of a ruling should be exploited for the return of the town.
The Municipality calls on the political leadership to work in concert to ensure a successful outcome of the case before the ECHR.
“It is possible through coordinated action to pave the way for the return of Famagusta to its legitimate inhabitants” it concludes.
The Court has asked Turkey to set up and put into force, within six months, such mechanisms that would allow Mrs. Aresti to return to her home and to pay compensation for loss of use over the past 30 years or so, since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.