Euro Court to Discuss Rights in Turkish Cyprus

STRASBOURG–France (Reuters)–The European Court of Human Rights will debate on Wednesday a request from the Cyprus government to condemn alleged human rights violations in the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state–court sources said.

Cyprus–in its plea to the Strasbourg-based court–said the 26-year-old Turkish occupation of the north of the island violated several articles of the European Human Rights Convention–including the right to life and property.

Lawyers for the Cyprus government will argue that the 170,000 refugees living in the south of the island are deprived of their rights–and that Greek Cypriots who stayed in the Turkish-occupied north suffer discrimination.

They will also raise the problem of 1,500 people Cyprus says have disappeared in the Turkish invasion.

Turkey–which invaded the territory in 1974 after a brief Greek Cypriot coup engineered by the military then ruling Greece–has denied the accusations.

A Turkish diplomat in Strasbourg declined to say if the Ankara government would be represented in Wednesday’s public hearing.

The court–which has the power to order compensation–will issue a verdict in a few months.

Proximity talks for a settlement over Cyprus are underway at the United Nations with Greek Cypriots opposing a Turkish Cypriot call for a confederation. Only Ankara has recognized the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state.

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