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21 Turkish Cypriots appeal to the ECHR for return of immovables July 24, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, Human rights abuses, Turkey.
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21 Turkish Cypriots appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for return of the immovables they were forced to abandon on December 23, 1963.

21 Turkish Cypriots who were originally from the Matyat village of Lefkosa told the Turkish Agency Cyprus why they appealed to ECHR.

They said the Ministry of the Interior of Southern Cyprus did not respond to their application for return of immovables and payment of damages and the Greek Cypriot Chief prosecutor’s office refused to accept the application because it was written in Turkish.

The applicants said they demanded the return of the Matyat village, majority of which belonged to Turkish Cypriots along with payment of damages for the past 47 years.
The 21 Turkish Cypriots had to abandon their homes and properties when their village came under attack of armed Greek Cypriots, during the atrocities of 1960’s.

Their homes and properties were looted and their village was set on fire and they were never allowed to return to their village ever since.

Cyprus issue

Gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, Cyprus became a bi-communal Republic where Greek and Turkish Cypriot constituent communities would share power guaranteed by the UK, Turkey and Greece.

However, reluctant to share power and pursuing a policy of Enosis (Union) with Greece, Greek Cypriots soon expelled Turkish Cypriots from power and terrorised and ghettoised them.

Decades long armed attacks on the defenseless Turkish Cypriots culminated in 1974 when an Athens-backed Greek Cypriot military coup on the island led to Turkey’s intervention based on its rights stemming from the Treaty of Guarantee.

Although the Republic of Cyprus as described in the 1959 agreements is no longer there, Greek Cypriots continue to enjoy this title and international recognition while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a fully democratic government representing Turkish Cypriots, still suffers under an unfair political and economic blockade.

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the south rejected the UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004 even though the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it.

The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with north Cyprus remains unfulfilled.

TRNC is an independent republic located in the north of Cyprus. TRNC declared its independence in 1983, nine years after a Greek Cypriot coup attempting to annex the island to Greece.

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