Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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To: Evening Standard
19 July 2006
Court correspondent’s article on the Orams case

I write with reference to your court correspondent’s article on the Orams case currently proceeding in the High Court of Justice. The report does not present an accurate record of the issues but merely refers to Cherie Booth’s submissions. Any report on a case being heard in court should at least refer to the claims being put forward by each party. Your report was woefully inadequate in this respect.

Firstly, there is no unfairness in Mr Apostolides seeking to protect his legitimate property rights. The Orams paid money for land that the purported owner was not entitled to sell. Anyone wishing to purchase a holiday home should research the position and if they buy in an area such as northern Cyprus which is illegally occupied by Turkey then they take the risk that this is not a sound investment and that their title will be challenged. All the Orams had to do was check the advice given to British citizens by the Foreign Office website. It is clear that any so called deeds issued by what is known as the ‘TRNC’ (Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus), which is only recognised by Turkey, are not valid. If the land was owned by Greek Cypriots such as Mr Apostolides prior to the illegal invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974 then the only legitimate title-deeds are those held by the rightful owners (see the European Court of Human Rights decision of Loizidou v Turkey (1996). Therefore, those wishing to make a nice little profit and buy a cheap holiday home should look elsewhere.

The case is still being heard so I suggest that your reporter visits the court and hears both sides of the argument.