Cyprus Problem | Two Sides Miles Apart Over Property Issue

CrackCyprus Today (26.09.15), published an article on its front page highlighting the differences between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots concerning the property issue. The British Residents Society (BRS) had organised a meeting in Girne to learn about developments in the Cyprus peace talks, particularly concerning their demands that ex-pats are treated equally with Cypriots on the issue of property rights. The meeting was organised by the BRS following discussions with president Mustafa Akinci earlier this month.’

Government liaison officer Mike Maternghan said:

‘Property is at the centre of our hearts and is the centre of negotiations. We had a meeting with Mr Akinci at great length and put forward our concerns, on behalf of all property owners.

We asked whether all would be treated equally in resolving the property issue, to which Mr Akinci reassured us that non-TRNC nationals would be treated in the same manner.’

BRS members had met with Mr Akinci earlier this month after expressing their ‘grave concern’ over an announcement that a new independent ‘property commission’ would be established in the event of a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Akinci had made it very clear that billions of pounds must be found before a referendum in order to compensate Cypriots who had lost property.

BRS deputy chairman and Cyprus Today columnist Stephen Day said the two sides in Cyprus ‘were still in deep disagreement’ over the property issue.

‘It is true that agreement has been reached to form a new property commission. But the Turkish Cypriots want it to operate as the current immovable property commission, which successfully handle Greek Cypriot applications and provides adequate remedies in compensating them.

But the Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, want the new property commission to accept the former Greek Cypriot owner as having the first right of say. The sides are completely miles apart.

The president assured us that he will not accept this and we are thankful for that. But it doesn’t bring the sides any closer to unification. The Turkish Cypriots believe the settlement will bring about a new Cyprus Federation with two zones. But the Greek Cypriots say the currently internationally-recognized Republic of Cyprus will continue.

We told the president that you cannot maintain a long-term existence of a Turkish Cypriot zone if the Accession Treaty signed by the Republic of Cyprus continues in the absence of permanent derogations or exemptions from EU law.

The Turkish Cypriots have to understand this very important issue.

Then what will happen? We go back to 1963 and the mayhem will start all over again.

The UN should look at the countries surrounding Cyprus which have war, violence and mayhem. Cyprus right now is a peace beacon in this region. The UN should leave Cyprus alone and recognise the Turkish Cypriots.’

Well, there you are! Evidence that the chances of a settlement are unlikely unless one of the two sides radically changes their stance. As I say, unlikely.

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27 comments to Cyprus Problem | Two Sides Miles Apart Over Property Issue

  • Jerry

    The carpetbagger scum bought stolen property on the cheap at below the market price, they should be major contributors to the compensation fund or lose “their” ill-gotten place in the sun.

  • Ian Edwards

    Wrong, Jerry. Dead wrong.

    While you and many other GCs continue to maintain the rage and insist that you did nothing wrong and are the poor innocent victims in the whole sorry saga, the two sides will stay miles apart.

    A great many outsiders consider the GCs to be mostly to blame for the troubles, but even if blame is apportioned at 50-50, that means the GCs must accept some penalty also. You simply do not have the right to insist that things should go back to pre-1974. Unfortunately, that means you can’t just be given your old house back and too bad for the current owners who paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for it. Some compensation, yes, but the amount should be determined by an independent body authorised to make such assessments for all property dealings.

    And just who should pay that compensation is another thorny issue.

  • Jerry

    Well you fell right into that one IE. You, by responding, obviously consider yourself to be carpetbagger scum. My post makes absolutely no reference at all to the Cyprus Problem and who is to blame but, unable to justify your dodgy acquisition, you go off at a tangent with your biased spin and propaganda.
    Despite what Ankinci says when push comes to shove and the Greek Cypriots insist on their legal rights (same applies to TC property in the south) YOU will be the last people to be considered. If you seriously believe that the Cypriots will sacrifice a possible deal just so that you can keep your acquisitions then you are even more stupid than I took you for.

  • Ian Edwards

    Dear me, Jerry, here I was looking at the heading on the article you responded to, “Cyprus Problem”, and thinking that had to be what you were referring to. Silly me.

    Instead of simply slagging my post, why not address the points in it in a rational and, dare I suggest, dignified manner? Your insults have the unfortunate appearance of something from Yiannis….

  • Jerry

    Nice try but why don’t you be honest, the heading was “Cyprus Problem/Two sides miles apart over property issue”

    As for “dignified”, what’s dignified in “buying” property on the cheap that belongs to people who have been kicked out of their homes at gunpoint.

    I’m flattered that you compare my insults with those of that great Cypriot patriot, Yiannis.

  • Miltiades

    ” The British Residents Society (BRS) had organised a meeting in Girne to learn about developments in the Cyprus peace talks, particularly concerning their demands that ex-pats are treated equally with Cypriots on the issue of property rights.”

    What a fricking cheek from low down flipping cheapskates, idiots who knew bloody well they were purchasing stolen, that means back of the lorry, properties, now they want …rights. Go to hell you ignorant lowdown scum !

  • Ian Edwards

    Have a nice evening Yiannis.

  • Cyprus Sue

    I note that Stephen Day states:

    “But the Turkish Cypriots want it to operate as the current immovable property commission, which successfully handle Greek Cypriot applications and provides adequate remedies in compensating them”

    Am I not right in saying that there is no longer an Immovable Property Commission? Didn’t Turkey not only withdraw funding but failed to compensate those whose compensation had been agreed? IPC is certainly not “current” and with regards to any solution Mr Akinci is correct in saying that the starting point has to be securing money to compensate. I suspect this is because most will accept compensation as a solution providing it is based on an honest evaluation.

    I hate to say this but I believe Jerry is correct when he states that foreign buyers will be the last to be considered.Neither side of the island have gone out of their way to help foreign purchasers, lets be truthful both Governments have stood by and watched buyers face a wealth of fraud and corruption. Despite the negative publicity, the condemnation from Europe and the catastrophic effects on the islands reputation and construction industry, they have by turning a blind eye, openly encouraged this behaviour. Some might even go further and suggest that they have been complicit in the many scams and corruptions. Many question why? Surely Governments are accountable for their actions and should do everything possible to promote transparency and fairness and promote the laws of the land? Sadly what we witness in Cyprus, TRNC and ROC, is that the Governments self-serving behaviour often dictates the outcomes. Add this to the nepotism and excessive nationalism and its not hard to see that any solution will have to be slanted to meet the needs of the locals with little consideration for others.

  • vincehugo


    Thanks for the insight. So for arguments sake, lets say I bought a nice plot of land from a very nice TC lady who had been “awarded” it as compensation for land she owned in the South, and then spent a lot of money building a very nice villa on this plot. In your world view the GC owner of this plot gets it back and the villa on it for free (or maybe I even have to pay them compensation as well)..

    But hang on a minute. If I never owned that plot what about my transaction with the the nice TC lady. She never owned it either I guess. But she did own a plot of land in the RoC. So maybe I could have a chat with her and (hopefully) agree that instead I’ll take the land she gave up in the RoC.

    Of course, she’ might not agree to that and then I am (you’ll be delighted to hear) well and truly stuffed.

    But whether it is the nice TC Lady or myself that goes back to reclaim this plot in the RoC there is a problem. The patch of land she left behind now has two houses on it. Very nice houses too. With two GC families living in them. Well I suppose that either she or I will want the GC’s out and our land back (and maybe some compensation for them using our land for all these years). But I guess that is all part of returning things to how they used to be (or as close as possible).

    Hmmmm. Cunning plan.

  • Cyprus Sue

    Of course the next question is what support will EU countries give to their citizens caught up in this mess? Again I think it will be very little. Did they come to the support of the Orams? Did the ECHR not make it clear who the true owner was (and still is).

    Have not most European Governments warned buyers of the pitfalls of buying GC land? I am afraid there will be little protection from this avenue. Having said this I still believe that the way forward has to be returning property and land to the original owner, if that is their desire. However those that bought and have lived in the disputed property must be FULLY COMPENSATED because they bought in good faith within the legal framework of Governments, that assured them it was safe to buy. Responsibility must be shared.

  • cyprusishome

    Not a case of governments standing by and watching, just trace the owners of many of the developer & building companies and there lies the reason. AS for so called legal people!!!!

    The EU, just look at what happened in Spain to tens of thousands of home buyers, many had their homes and life savings demolished. So one thing for certain on both sides of the island, foreigners will be bottom of the heap in the final solution.

  • Jerry

    Cyprus Sue, did they really buy in good faith? Surely anyone going to north Cyprus would have realised that there was something odd about the regime there – mail via Turkey, no direct flights, military zones, ghost town of Famagusta etc, and of course property was cheaper than in the south. Buying property, especially abroad, is a major event in most people’s life, anyone who bothered to enquire with the UK Foreign Office would have immediately been put off or is plain stupid, greedy or both.

    I think the majority of Cypriots will settle for compensation, they will not wish to move again after 40 years BUT it should be their choice as legal owners, they should not be forced to take the cash as happens, in effect, with the IPC. As far as I know the IPC still functions but its funding from Turkey has all but dried up – perhaps in anticipation of a settlement and a new compensation scheme or simply because Turkey can no longer afford it.

    People like myself, a British born semi-Cypriot, who have been denied use of our property resent the fact that outsiders have moved to Cyprus, “bought” our land, and by their actions complicated an already difficult situation.

    Finally I think it is only right that carpetbaggers who bagged a bargain in the “trnc” should contribute to the compensation paid to the legal owner of the property but only if the owner does not want the land returned.

  • Ian Edwards

    Sue, I and most expats agree with you that there would be next to no compensation, never mind FULL compensation, for those who purchased property in TRNC, assurances from politicians notwithstanding. But your example of the Orams’ case is only partially valid. The ECHR found in ITS opinion that the true owner was the original GC owner, and that opinion was upheld by the UK High Court. But the ownership was restricted to the land only, as it was directed that the large, modern 3-storey villa be demolished.

    The point here is that that particular decision was for ONE case only, and it’s conceivable that the result of that appeal may have been coloured by the hue of the Orams’ high profile lawyer. Were it to be tried again today, it’s again conceivable that there would be a different outcome. Clearly, each of the hundreds of thousands of cases would need to be investigated singularly, and judged accordingly, for there is now an extremely complicated mixture of housing which existed prior to 1974, land which was vacant at that time but which now contains developed housing, esdeger and non-esdeger land, Turkish title property and land which has been resumed for government infrastructure, such as part of Larnaca Airport. There is also the added ingredient of the significant difference in the market values of RoC and TRNC properties.

    You say you “believe that the way forward has to be returning property and land to the original owner, if that is their desire.” In other words, give back all the land previously owned by GCs together with any housing which has been built on it, thus gifting the original owners with villas worth millions of euros, and penalising all the people who paid good money for those houses. There would, as all know, be absolutely NO compensation paid to them by Turkey or the TRNC governments.

    Sue, this scenario simply ignores the point that the GCs must accept at least SOME of the blame for the troubles, and accordingly receive SOME of the penalty at settlement. This is the argument that people like Jerry and Yiannis refuse to engage.

    It is morally indefensible to claim otherwise.

  • Jerry

    Regardless of who is to blame for the Cyprus problem I fail to see how impacts on the “rights” of third party opportunists. Put it another way, the Greek Cypriots were to blame (partly or wholly) for the Cyprus problem therefore carpetbaggers are entitled to benefit from the loss of Greek Cypriot property – what utter nonsense!

    I can’t speak for Yiannis but I have never claimed the Greek Cypriots do not bear some responsibility for the troubles. I do, however, believe that Turkey was, and still is, the main driving force behind the current division for its own reasons and not for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Page 468

  • Cyprus Sue

    Not sure how playing the blame game helps. What I do know is that as a result of the decisions made by both Governments, who JOINTLY need to shoulder responsibility for what happened, many innocent TC and GC have suffered and many might endure even more suffering if a fair solution is not found. Buying the land and houses of GC has added to that suffering and exacerbated the problem of finding a fair solution. However I believe most TC/GC will wish to remain where they have now settled and it will be a minority that want to return to their lands or homes.

    In a just society, that doesn’t mean having it returned with an expensive Villa thrown in and paid for by someone else. Any changes would have to be taken into consideration. Too much profiting from the innocent has occurred already and a just and long-term solution would consider the impact on all parties involved. However the fact remains that the legal owner of the land will be the pre 74 TC or GC owner. So he/she may still own the land but certainly not the villa. But we are not talking about what is fair are we? More about what might happen taking into consideration Cyprus mentality, where profiteering is King and moral behaviour amongst those taking responsibility for the island’s governance is lacking in the extreme. So any outcome will not necessarily be based on ethical principles.

    We appear to be in agreement that no compensation for foreign purchasers will come from Turkey, TRNC or ROC. Its a real mess. Non refugees have been given the homes of TC’s in the South and are currently being rented out by these rich landlords. The Guardians of TC property turn out to be like most Cypriot Institutions corrupt to the core and many Turks and TC’s that didn’t even own land on the island were simply gifted land and houses for their services to the Government or the army. Many of these homes were then sold on to foreigners or developers. So its not as simple as land in the South simply being exchanged for land in the North. In many cases there was no exchange. Add to this the amount of compulsory purchase of TC and GC land, where compensation has never been paid and one thing is certain – it’s not going to be easy to unravel and there will be winners and losers.

  • Miltiades

    “Sue, this scenario simply ignores the point that the GCs must accept at least SOME of the blame for the troubles, and accordingly receive SOME of the penalty at settlement. This is the argument that people like Jerry and Yiannis refuse to engage.”
    Im on record, repeated many times, that both the G/C extremists and the T/C extremists are to blame for the Cyprob , along with their ” motherlands” Greece and Turkey.

    I have NEVER laid the blame with either my T/C compatriots or the G/Cs. I have also on numerous occasions referred to both Greece and Turkey as the cancer afflicting Cyprus.

    I have met and befriended hundreds of T/Cs and G/Cs, the similarities between the two are striking. Most consider themselves as Cypriots first and foremost, indeed as I do.

    Back to the subject of Brits and others that stupidly invested their money in a part of the world that even complete moros must have known that the risks involved. The properties bought were by large G/C owned and userped by the invaders, Turkey, contrary to all international opinion.

  • Ian Edwards

    Of course playing the blame game is fruitless…both sides can trade massacres. My point is only that the GCs must accept SOME responsibility for the troubles, and can therefore not expect property to be handed back to the original owners in pre-1974 condition.

    I believe that unravelling the property knot is the key to any settlement, but the significant questions then become:

    1. Just who will both sides agree to form the authorised body which will judge the outcome of all claims? It probably should not contain any Greek or Turkish influence, but how could that be ensured?

    2. How would such a body carry out all the costly and time-consuming research necessary to make informed judgements on ownership?

    2. Assuming that some of the decisions (if not all) will involve financial compensation, where will the vast sums of money come from? Just one development I drive past daily must contain at least 500 villas, and even a small portion of Larnaca Airport would have a healthy price tag.

    So, unfortunately, given the lengthy history of settlement talks and the results therefrom, I can’t see the parties agreeing to the composition of this body any time soon.

    In fact, I can’t see it at all.

  • Polly Marples

    No one could buy anything if it was not offered for sale by the dishonest Turkish Cypriots aided and abetted by the dishonest Turkish Cypriot Governments….surely?

    Too easy to blame the purchaser and never those who made it possible. Oh I forgot, they are all brothers under the skin now…yes they certainly share the same dodgy genes.

  • Jerry

    Criminals who receive stolen goods are as dishonest as those steal them. Without the demand the supply would dry up.

  • Polly Marples

    and…vice versa.

    Still you shy away from saying one word against your T.C. brothers. Go figure.

    Double standards or what Jerry? Without the supply there would have been no innocent purchasers.

    Cyprus must be where Ali Baba and his 40 thieves originated and we all know what happens when thieves fall out

  • Jerry

    No, there are property crooks all over the island and many came over from Turkey to share in the Greek loot, however with your long-standing knowledge of Cyprus YOU still decided to “buy” in the north – go figure.
    Innocent purchasers, my ar.e? Do you consider yourself one?

  • Polly Marples

    I consider myself defrauded and so far the lower court of the TRNC agree with me. What you think is of no importance or worthy or worthy of consideration Jerry.

  • Jerry

    Important enough or worthy of a response though, I’m surprised you bothered.

  • Ian Edwards

    So am I…

  • Jerry

    Says Polly the bird-brained parrot on Polly’s shoulder!

  • fluter

    Notice how Jerry always gets a “like” from the foul-mouthed knobhead?

    Have you seen the hero of Marathon’s language on the Cyprus Forum?

  • Miltiades

    [shush]Hey Fukker, little peasants like you I can chew and spit out before you can say ” lowdown frikking cheapskates ”

    Go back to your dingy council house will you![/shush]