Since 1974 Greek Cypriots placed their trust and expectations in the world’s powerful diplomats and politicians to end the military occupation of their country and to restore justice and human rights.
But despite their best efforts, the island remains divided, the Turkish troops and colonists rule the occupied areas and none of the refugees have been allowed to return to their homes.
At its essence the Cyprus issue is about legal and human rights and therefore it is not surprising that the Greek Cypriots have sought legal redress, much to the despair of politicians who would have us believe the Cyprus issue should be resolved by politicians and not at European courtrooms.
The stunning success of Titina Loizidou before the European Court of Human Rights led to the beginning of a torrent of cases brought by legitimate owners claiming damages for loss of use of their property. And now we have the European Court of Justice decision in the Apostolides case in which the Orams have been ordered to demolish the villa they built illegally on Mr Apostolides’ property in Cyprus. Furthermore, the Orams face the loss of their assets in the UK to pay for the damages they owe Mr Apostolides for their trespass.
Many Greek Cypriot refugees and property owners in Cyprus and the diaspora are greatly encouraged by these legal successes.
The indications are that many will follow the example of Mrs Loizidou and Mr Apostolides and will now entrust the restoration of their human and legal rights to the appropriate courts of law rather than the politicians who have failed them for more than 35 years.