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Turkish Cypriots seek redress for property in European court July 26, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, KKTC.
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A group of Turkish Cypriots have applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for the return of property that they were forced to abandon during attacks against the island’s Turkish population by Greek Cypriots in the 1960s.

In their application to the top European court, 21 Turkish Cypriots said that the Greek Cypriot authorities have not responded to their requests to reclaim their property, the Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK reported on Saturday. They said in their appeal to the ECtHR that they seek the return of their property, abandoned in December 1963, and full compensation for 47 years of lack of access to their assets.

For decades, thousands of Greek Cypriots have applied to the European court demanding compensation for the property they left behind in the Turkish part of the island during a Turkish military intervention on the island to protect the Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriot attacks in 1974. The court ruled earlier this year that the applicants should seek redress at a property commission created in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), angering Greek Cypriots.

The applicants, all from the once-mixed village of Matya, said they had to leave their homes after a Greek Cypriot attack targeting the village’s Turks. They have been unable to return to their homes. Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, holding talks on reunification of the island, are now trying to tackle the property issue, the most complicated aspect of the Cyprus dispute.

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