Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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To: Channel Five television
27 May 2006
Property Developing Abroad
Ben Frow
Channel Five

27 May 2006

Dear Mr Frow

Property Developing Abroad

I understand that next Tuesday Channel 5 will be showing a programme on the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot property in the north of Cyprus. I am writing to complain.

I do not know how familiar you are with the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from the north of Cyprus in July and August 1974. But the facts are indisputable and I would recommend that your researchers find out why land is so cheap in the north of the island. If they had done so then I suspect that the programme would not have been made. If they are aware the making of the programme is highly reckless and calculated to upset tens of thousands of your viewers who were ethnically cleansed in this way; how can a responsible broadcaster advise on the prospects at investing in stolen property in an illegal regime created by ethnic cleansing?

You should also be aware that the land on which much illegal development is taking place is on land still legally owned by Greek Cypriots (note that 92% of all land in the north of Cyprus is owned by Greek Cypriot refugees or the Church of Cyprus). The true owners have the right to take cases against any individual who occupies their land. There have been many cases in the European Court of Human Rights and elsewhere, most notably Loizidou v Turkey, in which the thieves have been ordered to return land, pay compensation for loss of use and also risk the forfeit of their own property in the UK. I would point out the case of the Orams where this has already happened. Many other such cases are in the pipeline, including one being considered by my family and me.

Many unsuspecting and naive buyers have been informed that they will get legal title-deeds. This cannot be true, as they would need to obtain these from the original Greek Cypriot owners. This is extremely rare and the land transfer would require going through the Republic Of Cyprus Land registry office. I would imagine that very few if any have such a legal title-deed.

In all I can only surmise that Channel five has taken poor guidance or has been sponsored by the illegal Turkish authorities or unscrupulous businessmen who care for nothing about those they sell to.

I hope you take my comments on board and I would be grateful if you would afford me a meeting to discuss this important matter.