The refugees’ right to return, their rights to compensation and the need for international aid for resettlement
The legitimacy of the Greek Cypriot refugees to realise their title-deeds and reclaim what is rightfully theirs is, as we know, upheld by international law. Further, it is a right underpinned by the landmark decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Titina Loizidou v Turkey case of 1996.
Like Titina Loizidou, the refugees have every right to compensation for loss of use and enjoyment of their properties in the occupied area. Indeed, it can be argued that they have greater rights given the fact that Mrs Loizidou was not, technically speaking, a refugee. However, as in the Loizidou case, it should be Turkey that is compelled to pay compensation to the refugees for denying them the rightful use of their homes and other properties.
Return of properties and compensation for loss of use to be paid solely by Turkey is, therefore, the first plank in the package of addressing the rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees.
The second is that the refugees, having been denied access to and use of their properties for nearly thirty years, should receive generous funds for the purpose of rebuilding and/or renovating them.
It is grossly unfair that the refugees should be expected to bear the full costs of putting right the neglect and damage of so long a time.
We call upon the international community, particularly the EU and US, to release funds to the government of the Republic of Cyprus for the purpose of providing financial and material support to the refugees so that they can rebuild/renovate their properties. Given the fact that over 90% of the land in the occupied area is owned by Greek Cypriots, this second plank in the financial package to assist the Greek Cypriot refugees will be expensive, but it is a case of justice and fair play.
THE REFUGEES HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FROM TURKEY FOR LOSS
OF USE OF THEIR PROPERTIES, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST PROVIDE GENEROUS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR REBUILDNG/RENOVATING THESE PROPERTIES IN THE AREA OF CYPRUS CURRENTLY UNDER OCCUPATION.
WE CALL FOR YOUR ACTIVE SUPPORT ON THIS URGENT MATTER