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CoE says Turkey must pay up to Greek Cypriot refugees

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The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has stressed that Turkey must pay without delay €60 mln in damages to Greek Cypriots who cannot access their properties in the Turkish-occupied north.

According to a CoE statement, its Committee of Ministers has “firmly insisted on Türkiye’s unconditional obligation to pay over €40 mln in damages awarded by the European Court of Human Rights to dozens of people who are unable to access their property in the northern part of Cyprus, plus nearly €20 mln in interest accrued since the awards were first made.”

During its quarterly meeting to supervise the implementation of judgments from the Court, the Committee adopted an Interim Resolution in the Xenides-Arestis v Turkey group of 33 cases.

The cases, it notes, concern the continuous denial of access to property in northern Cyprus, in violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Some of the cases also concern Türkiye’s violation of the applicants’ right to respect for their homes, under Article 8 of the Convention,” it states.

The Committee of Ministers expressed “profound concern that prolonged delays in paying the ‘just satisfaction’ awarded by the Court not only deprive the individual victims of compensation but is also in flagrant disrespect of Türkiye’s international obligations as a member of the Council of Europe.”

The Committee urged the Turkish authorities to pay the ‘just satisfaction’ – some of which has been outstanding since 2007 – together with the interest accrued, without further delay.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have failed to yield results.