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Cypriot Government fully respects right to property
2006-02-15 14:10:03

Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) – The Government understands the concerns of Greek Cypriots following the Supreme Court decision whereby a Turkish Cypriot regained his property in the government controlled areas of the Republic, but stressed that it does not share exaggeration or panic over the issue.

Government Spokesman George Lillikas assured Greek Cypriot refugees that they will never be left exposed.

The Supreme Court of Cyprus decided in October 2004 to suspend the implementation of the ruling issued on September 24 of that year in the case of Turkish Cypriot Arif Moustafa against the Republic of Cyprus, which restored the property Mustafa owned in government controlled areas of the Republic before the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.

During the hearing of the case on Monday, the Attorney-General and the lawyer of the Greek Cypriot refugees withdrew their appeals.

Government Spokesman Lillikas said there have been 60 cases before the Ministry of the Interior, of which several have been settled with various ways, noting that Mustafa’s case was only an exception to the rule of consensus that prevailed until today.

''Around 45 cases have been arranged through various ways, ….. providing other residence, or regulated otherwise i.e. through compensation, and Arif Mustafa’s case is unique and an exception to the rule of consensus that has prevailed up to now in these cases”, he said.

He admitted there are some cases pending before the court, “which demand for compensation either from the state, because the property has been expropriated for public works, or for compensation for the use of the property since the Turkish invasion''.

The Government Spokesman further underlined the existence of relevant legislation regulating these issues and especially for the cases of expropriations, noting that “money has been deposited in a special fund for this purpose and the Cyprus government does not object to compensations given for such cases”.

According to the relevant legislation the compensations will be given after the solution of the Cyprus problem, he clarified.

Responding to questions he said that there is always the possibility that someone would appeal to the Supreme Court and claim for compensation before the settlement but “the law was adopted because in Cyprus there is an emergency situation due to the Turkish invasion and ongoing occupation''.

The law substantially protects the Turkish Cypriot property from any illegal use, said Lillikas noting that “the law does not violate the right to property but on the contrary the government of the Cyprus Republic and all previous governments fully respect the right of property as sacred and do not intend to deprive anyone from it'', he said.

Greek Cypriot refugees have been deprived of their right for decades now by the occupation regime and the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus, he said.

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