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If Greek Cypriots do not apply to the IPC they “will lose their properties”

According to Greek Cypriot lawyers on Sigma’s 60 Minutes TV show last week Greek Cypriots with property in the north are only just waking up to the fact that if they don’t apply to the European Human Rights Commission (ECHR) endorsed Immovable Property Commission (IPC) by 31st December 2011 then they are likely to lose the right of return of their property or for compensation:

“If one does not apply to the IPC, Turkey will argue that you have not tried to pursue your human rights and therefore not only is Turkey no longer liable but they have no obligation to pay for loss of use for 37 years or give back the property. In that respect you lose your right to apply to Strasbourg.

“Essentially you’ll have a theoretical right to property proven by title deed for which you will have no legal system to enforce it,” Greek Cypriot lawyer, Demetriades explained.

One argument for not applying to the IPC, used by GC politicians, has been that compensation has been paltry. One lawyer was quoted as saying that. “as far as I know, the Severis flour mills in Kyrenia applied and got £12m Sterling. Angoulos Estates in Morfou got £10m. They agreed.”

One Greek Cypriot lawyer had a cunning plan:

“My plan of action is to call the Turkish bluff. First, you go for the whole property of the fenced off area of Famagusta. Turkey cannot claim any public interest in keeping this since there are no Turkish Cypriots, settlers or foreigners there.

“Second, the military zones. Turkey says it’s a peacekeeping force. Let’s say they’re right, does that mean they can have our properties rent-free? And at some point they’ll withdraw and the houses will have to be given back. Third, economic units, hotels, factories, the valuable within them and, fourth, everybody else.”

The aim is to maximise the cost of occupation for Turkey.

“People forget a very fundamental point, that Turkey is enjoying the occupied part of Cyprus for 37 years rent-free. The starting point is that the army must pay for the use of the land it enjoys. One can argue that they cannot afford it. Then they have to move in to something smaller.

“If they refuse to do that, then you have to file more cases to the IPC so that more judgements by the ECHR are generated so that they are forced to pay for the use of the land they are enjoying.

And if they cannot afford it, they should simply go home,” he added.

Source: www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/lawyers-or-politicians-who-do-you-trust/20110612

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