Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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07 October 2010
American lawyer takes Turkey’s illegal regime in Cyprus to American courts
US Attorney Athan Tsimpedes has revealed that the unrecognised illegal regime trading as 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' is operating in the United States as a commercial enterprise – and is involved in a fraudulent property scheme.

6 October 2010, London: US Attorney Athan T Tsimpedes has revealed that the unrecognized regime trading as the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' aka 'TRNC' is operating in the United States as a commercial enterprise – and is involved in a fraudulent property scheme which is selling stolen properties owned by British citizens. 

Photo: 'Never forget': US attorney Athan T Tsimpedes explains the class action he is pursuing in the US courts. 5 October, London © Lobby for Cyprus

At a seminar in London Mr Tsimpedes explained the basis of his current case against those assisting or participating in the 'TRNC' on behalf of Cypriots and other nationals including US citizens who own properties in Cyprus, in the areas currently under the control of the illegal regime. 

‘The Cyprus issue is not well publicized or understood in America,’said Mr Tsimpedes.  ‘But this is Turkey’s “Gaza”. The world needs to know.’

Mr Tsimpedes outlined that the unrecognized regime is subject to US law because it operating as a commercial enterprise that has US offices and employees, HSBC bank accounts and is selling stolen properties through its trade name the 'TRNC'. The illegal transactions for properties in the occupied territories are made through the global bank, HSBC and its subsidiaries. ‘Because HSBC is involved in the fraudulent property scheme, the “TRNC’s” assets can be seized,’ said Mr Tsimpedes. 

The case is of interest to British citizens and other nationals who own or have property rights in the area controlled by the illegal TRNC regime in Cyprus since Turkey’s invasion in 1974. 

Theo Theodorou, co-ordinator of Lobby for Cyprus, stated that Mr Tsimpedes had given all the displaced British property owners in occupied Cyprus a route to protect and defend their property rights by pursuing those benefiting from the illegal trading of those properties. He also stated that this action would highlight the discriminatory basis of the current Turkish proposals for resolving the property issue in Cyprus which contravened EU law. He commended Mr Tsimpedes for his passionate defense of the displaced property owners. It did not go unnoticed that the representatives of the illegal regime were acting clandestinely and in concert as a commercial enterprise in the US under the radar of US laws. 

Mr Tsimpedes concluded by explaining that his lawsuit was open to all displaced property owners who could join at minimal risk because their only risk was to pay the nominal administrative fee to enter the class action. The lawsuit does not exchange title for compensation. Mr. Tsimpedes said his lawsuit retains title to the property owners but seeks compensation for the interference of the rights to property for 36 years, along with exemplary damages to punish the illegal acts. The Lobby urges all displaced property owners to join Mr Tsimpedes action without delay. All is required is a statement that you own property in the occupied areas of Cyprus with some minimum details. 

The seminar was organised by British Human Rights NGO Lobby for Cyprus. 

Dr Klearchos Kyriakides, Senior Law lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, gave some concluding remarks including how US case law compliments and supports the findings in the recent ECJ and English decisions in Apostolides v Orams which re-enforced the property rights of the displaced owners. Costas Frangeskides, partner of Holman Fenwick Willan, specialists in international litigation also reminded us of the rule of law and how Turkey and its illegal regime can never take these property rights away from their rightful owners. As Athan Tsimpedes stated, a thief never obtains title to stolen property. 

For further details contact:
Athan Tsimpedes: athan@tsimpedeslaw.com or (001)202-772-3159
Lobby for Cyprus: admin@lobbyforcyprus.org or +44 (0) 20 8888 2556