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Karmi/Robb North Cyprus Auction | The Ministry Promise

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THIS DOES NOT APPEAR BEFORE 10.00 a.m Mr Editor – Let us hope the wonderful people who turn up at the Auction get a SURPRIZE HAZIR OLUN.

I am sure you have all seen the films where the condemned eats his last breakfast and then starts the long slow walk to his place of execution, the camera keeps zooming in on to the telephone, then at the 11th hour, the phone rings, the Prison Governor picks up the the phone, it is the President with a ‘stay of execution message’. Cue music, up come the credits.

Well Friday afternoon was just like that for the Pesky Pair and the two couples, Helen Letchford and Graham Coulstock, Sally and Malcolm Davis; the victims of the Auction. They met up outside the Citizens Advice Cyprus office and travelled in convoy to Lefkosa. The first stop was a pre-arranged appointment at the KTOS (Teacher’s Union) headquarters in Lefkosa to meet with Sener Levent the owner/editor of Afrika Newspaper. Mr Levent listened very carefully to the sorry saga that is the Karmi/Robb victims’ story and then looked at us and said words to the effect “this auction will be stopped, it will not happen on Sunday”. He then asked us to excuse him as he needed to rush back to his office and make calls to the Ministry of the Interior and the Minister of the Interior.

After some discussion the Pesky Pair decided it was time for belt and braces, so together with Graham and Helen we went along to see the Head of the Estate Agents’ Association who had been so instrumental in postponing this same auction the first time around when it was scheduled for the 27th November 2011. You will recall on that occasion the Ministry of the Interior official had told them that the Government would look at how to help, perhaps by compulsorily purchasing the site and creating a situation where the two sets of purchasers could have their deeds for their portion of the land put into their names. Sadly, this did not happen and if the Pesky Pair had not gone into the coffee shop and seen the notice for the second proposed auction date, who knows what would have happened. Secrecy and dark dealings seem to be the norm in this country.

Their visit to the Head of the Estate Agents Association had to be delayed for half an hour because their host had a pre-arranged appointment. It was a hot afternoon so they decided to kill the time by stopping off for refreshments. They called into a pub calling itself The Corner Street Bar in Mehmetagamus Sokak in Lefkosa. They ordered one Carlsberg and three shandys. Admittedly the shandys were in large glasses but not one them came up to the 50 cl. line. Imagine their surprise when the bill came and the beer was charged at 6 lira (okay, too much but it was in Lefkosa) and a whopping 9 lira each for the shandys. Oh dear, the poor manager of that bar had picked entirely the wrong day to pull such a stunt, the Pesky pair were having none of it, let us just say that after much discussion which involved one of the Pesky Pair threatening exposure, of this stunt not herself, the bill was reduced from 33 lira to 24 lira.

They arrived at the office of the Head of the Estate Agents Association who had already sent a letter by registered post about this second auction to the Ministry but his plea had fallen on deaf ears (shades of Kulaksiz). He made a phone call to the Ministry and whilst he was talking, a phone call came from Sener Levent alerting us to the Ministry making a request for a copy of the two Contracts involved. Fortunately one of the Pesky Pair had a copy of Helen’s Contract so this was faxed on to the Ministry, the second Contract was a bigger problem, Sally and Malcolm had had to leave after the visit to KTOS so they were phoned. Oh dear, no fax machine so Malcolm went to several internet cafes without success, eventually he ended up in the office of his Advocate who, after many false starts, one of which involved there being no paper at the receiving end of the fax, the deed was done and the Ministry had their two copies of the Contracts. The Contracts that showed that the completion of the build was almost six years late and a penalty clause of £1000 per month for late delivery. Please stop laughing, I know 6 x 12 x £1000, what a joke. So now Mr Minister can you can you get your head around the fact that had Gary Robb and his cohorts not been such total scumbags, the victims would have been living in their villas for six years and this AUCTION would be making them homeless, instead they have been burdened with paying rent for six years. Now if you will Mr Minister expand your thinking to Amaranta Valley where there exists an identical problem caused by the same set of scumbags.

I digress; back to the problem in hand. We were told by Mr Levent that once the Contract had been looked at there was a 90% chance the Auction would be postponed until August. He told us that the Ministry official would telephone him to confirm if it was to be cancelled and would send it in writing to him also. Nail biting time for the Pesky Pair and the victims. I am happy to confirm, the telephone call was received, and they were told it would appear in Kibris Gazetesi on Saturday the price I believe Mr Levent was prepared to pay to help us, clearly it should have appeared in his newspaper.

As part of the deal, the Pesky Pair and the victims agreed to hold off going public with this good news until it had appeared in the Press. Now we had expected it to appear on Saturday, as did I am sure Mr Levent, we were ALL disappointed until we realised that it was in the form of a public notice at the back of Kibris Gazetesi. Let us just hope we have NOT been DUPED. I will continue this write up on the ASSUMPTION that the Government are honourable and will keep their word, but just in case I am timing the release of this to be after the time of the Auction so that we will ALL meet at the appointed place.

I must add that on the advice of the Head of the Estate Agents Association they also attempted to deliver the hard copies to the Ministry official but when we got there, every gate was locked and everyone appeared to have gone home. Visions of the Pesky Pair climbing over spiked fences came into my mind when I learned of this.

As was pointed out by Mr Levent, this is not the end. The Auction will be rescheduled for August. So what did a very fraught Friday afternoon/evening achieve? It bought some very precious time to look for a solution. This time the Pesky Pair know that the promises made after the first postponement were worthless, this time the time will be spent searching for that very elusive solution. A solution for this problem must be found. A solution for all property problems must be found, the consequences of failure will be the death of the property sector in North Cyprus.

In the car on the way back from Lefkosa it was decided that since the news of the Auction being postponed was going to be drip fed, when all involved wanted to shout it from the rooftops, however they were aware that promises made had to kept (pity the Government didn’t have this policy), some people would not hear in time and would still turn up for the Auction on Sunday. It was decided that the victims and half of the Pesky Pair would also turn up for the the auction. The reason being: a) that it would show the Government what to expect at future Auctions of victims homes, b) do we trust this Government to keep its words, could it go ahead without an audience? c) it could turn into a celebration of this minor succes and d) show the ‘powers that be’ what will happen in August if no solution is found.

FOOTNOTE: This write up is being sent to NCFP at 6.22 am on Sunday the 6th May 2012 with instructions to be published at 10.00 a.m. Let us hope the Ministry of the Interior keep their word.

Pandora S Box

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