Cypriot refugees appeal against Turkey in the US over loss of property rights
New York, Nov 11 – Greek American attorney Athanasios Tsimpides announced that he has submitted an appeal against Turkey and the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus, in a federal court in Washington, on behalf of three Cypriot refugees, asking for compensation for deprivation of their property rights.
In a gathering in New York on the evening of November 10, Mr. Tsimpides told those in attendance about the various aspects of the case, and urged those who have property or rights over property in the occupied areas, to take part in the appeal.
“I have started this appeal to win and have no iota of pessimism,” Mr. Tsimpides told the audience.
He said he is using new elements in the case which are the exemptions of the US law of 1976 on diplomatic immunity, based on which it is possible to appeal in a US court against a foreign country in cases which concern commercial transactions.
Mr. Tsimpides said a similar case that fell through ten years ago, failed because it did not manage to associate the loss of use of property with the US.
The commercial transaction between the US and Turkey, he continued, that took place in Washington, was the sale of American armament to Turkey that was used illegally, since the provisions were solely for defensive purposes. “There is no doubt about this sale of armament,” he said, noting that he will bring the illegal regime before the court.
Mr. Tsimpides added that the regime maintains offices in Washington and carries out commercial transactions. “They advertise the sale of Greek Cypriot properties all over the world and in the US. We will bring them before the court and make them answer how they have obtained the properties they are selling,” the attorney said.
He also pointed out that the appeal submitted in the US concerns solely compensation for the loss of use of property rights and has no relation with the right of return of property or any other kind of compensation.
“In the event of a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he added, “the rights of the people will not be set aside because we represent people and not governments.”
In his intervention, International Coordination Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) President Philip Christopher described Mr. Tsimpides’ approach as interesting.
He said the appeal will definitely take years to try but it will help in informing the public opinion about the violation of the property and human rights of Greek Cypriot refugees.