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Media Watch 2003

22 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 22 May 2003 written by a Staff Reporter.
Government dismisses Turkish property compensation plan

THE GOVERNMENT said yesterday said it had taken all the necessary measures to counter the Turkish Cypriot regime’s plan to set up a fund to compensate Greek Cypriot refugees for the land they lost from the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Reports yesterday claimed that Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash were planning to set up a fund to compensate Greek Cypriot refugees who had lost their properties to the invasion.

Turkish Cypriot sources said an independent committee would also be set up to examine the Greek Cypriot claims.

The move is viewed as an attempt by the Turkish Cypriot side to settle the property issue to their advantage and gain some sort of recognition in the process.

Responding to the reports, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said yesterday that the right to property was not an issue of compensation.

“The right to property is a right of possession, use, exploitation, and disposal of property and not a compensation issue,” Chrysostomides said.

He added: “No one can replace this right with any monetary compensation.”

Chrysostomides said the government was aware of the manoeuvrings and had taken all necessary measures, adding the matter had been studied by the President together with the Attorney-general and foreign experts.

The spokesman said the Greek Cypriot side insisted on the enforcement of human rights, adding that it was his conviction that the Turkish Cypriot regime’s plans would not yield any results.

The reports said Turkey was planning to pay the compensation awarded to a Kyrenia refugee by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) but would not accept that case as a precedent for at least 450 similar ones brought against Turkey by other refugees."