The European Court Rules in Favor of Cypriots

STRASBOURG (Cyprus News)-Ankara Anatolia news agency reported on July 31 that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)–in two new cases brought against Turkey by Greek Cypriots who had been forcibly deprived of their assets and properties–has ruled that Turkey must pay the plaintiffs’ court costs. The ECHR concluded that Turkey had violated Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights–dealing with the defense of property [rights]–as well as Article 8–which deals with the inviolability of private residences.

While the Strasbourg court has not yet ruled against Turkey for the payment of damages–it did rule Turkey must pay court costs of 8,480 euros to Michael Tymvio–55 years old–and 2,875 euros to John Demades–73. It is expected that the court will rule on the request for damages at a later date. In his lawsuit–John Demades charged that since 1974 he has been prevented from going to his house in the north of the island by the Turkish Armed Forces–and that Turkey has violated his human rights.

Michael Tymvio–who is the owner of the Eugenia Michaelidou Company–filed a similar complaint.

The Court based its decisions on the two previous benchmark cases of Loizidou and the interstate Cyprus v Turkey recourse. But in a new development it ruled inadmissible a Turkish attempt to have both cases referred for settlement before a "compensation court” set up recently in the illegal breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the occupied north.

Turkey had announced that it would carry out the requiremen’s of the ECHR’s verdict in the Loizidou case–which has long created difficulties between Strasbourg and Ankara–but had called for this case not to constitute a precedent for further lawsuits by Greek Cypriots. Turkey is expected to pay Loizidou approximately US$900 thousand–including interest–in compensation.

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