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Turkish Cypriots appeal to Euro court for return of property July 24, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, Human rights abuses, Macedonia.
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More than two dozen Turkish Cypriots have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for the return of immovable properties they were forced to abandon in 1963 during conflict with Greek Cypriots.

Twenty-one Turkish Cypriots, who were originally from the Matyat village of the divided Cypriot capital of Nicosia, told the Turkish Agency Cyprus that they appealed to the European court because the Greek Cypriot Interior Ministry did not respond to their application for the return of the immovable properties and for a payment of damages.

The group also said 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, the majority of which belonged to Turkish Cypriots, along with a payment for damages incurred over the past 47 years.

Members of the group were forced to abandon their homes and properties during the deadly clashes on the island in the 1960s.

Gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, Cyprus became a bi-communal republic where Greek and Turkish Cypriot constituent communities shared power guaranteed by the U.K., Turkey and Greece.

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

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the south rejected the U.N. 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.

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