North Cyprus Property Victims | Bariş Apartments Fiasco

On this miserable cloudy morning I would have preferred to have a ‘lie in’, but no I had promised Pembe and her mum my support at Girne District Court for what I thought might be the final hearing of their case.

I have to admit that I did arrive after Pembe and her Muazzez had already gone into court and were waiting their turn on the bench in the rear of the court.

If you have never attended court, let me explain. Usually the Advocates sit in the front rows of benches and those of us paying their bills sit at the back. When I first saw this system, whereby as each case is heard and the advocates move along the benches, it occurred to me that these benches would never need polishing or dusting because the ‘backside’ movement would be doing the job.

I quietly slipped into court and waited with Pembe and Muazzez. The Advocates stood up and then we were all leaving the court. Apparently the file was missing. Pembe said it was lost. However the explanation was even more fantastic. Someone in the court system had logged the wrong information in and the case was put on the list for tomorrow. Now bear in mind, the advocate for Tutuska was there, Muazzez’s advocate was there, Pembe was there, Muazzez was there, the Judge was there. What would the obvious thing to do be? Yes, you have got it, bring in the file. Oh no, too easy, we all go back tomorrow. What a waste of time and more importantly, what a waste of money. I have to tell you that Muazzez is looking pale and ill, but what do they care?

Today was not a total wipeout. Pembe brought a copy of yesterday’s Kibris Gazetesi for me to see. In it was a full page advert from Universal Bank, a justification if you will for the auction on Sunday. They explain that they are justified in doing what they are doing to recoup a bad debt. You will recall that this auction ended in mayhem with the owner of Fatisa throwing himself on the coffee shop floor and Bulut Akacan of Santa Fe Building Company sustaining a broken thumb

What, you may ask, is Santa Fe’s connection to Fatisa, indeed you may also ask what is the connection of Fatisa to Kulaksiz Cnstructions Limited.

Strangely one of the residents of K5 had told me that someone from Santa Fe development, possibly Mr Akacan, had turned up on the K5 site after Akfinans had broken into and illegally repossessed the villa of Eva McCluskey, although on this occasion he was trying to justify what the Bank had done on this occasion. It would seem he may well be allegedly singing from a different hymn sheet now. Perhaps one of our Turkish speaking readers will tell us the connection in the comment section.

My first reaction, I will admit was, well it was a business establishment and really, any savvy business man knows if you offer a commercial property as collateral and then renege on your debt, you will lose that property.

That was before I saw the headlnes of Afrika Newspaper today. It seems there are claims that Universal Bank loaned 625 milyar TL in 2004 and the debt now stands at 30 trilyon TL. I do not pretend to understand Turkish but my initial understanding is that they are looking to whoever stood Guarantor to cough up the money. This is a different case and not the one involving Fatisa.


Of course there is a significant difference between the situation where innocent home buyers have had without their knowldge, their properties used as surety for loan taken out after they have bought and paid for them and then to find their properties being taken from them, and worse, the law is condoning it. This is clearly unjust, unfair and illegal anywhere in the civilised world. That this should also be accompanied by aggressive acts, intimidation and worse is deplorable.

However, it would seem that in one aspect the two types of Bank lending are allegedly similar, usurious interest rates. That is wrong and anathema to any civilised thinking person.



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