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Media Watch 2007

01 June 2007
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 1 June 2007.
Thieving exploitation
MPs yesterday denounced Turkey's usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied north and urged Greek Cypriot owners at the same time not to become involved in such deals that may have a negative impact on the efforts for a just settlement and the return of refugee properties to their legal owners. The vote declared that, in addition to this "thieving exploitation" of the Greek Cypriot properties, Turkey persists with the destruction of the cultural heritage and the natural environment in the north.

"MPs yesterday denounced Turkey's usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied north and urged Greek Cypriot owners at the same time not to become involved in such deals that may have a negative impact on the efforts for a just settlement and the return of refugee properties to their legal owners.

The vote declared that, in addition to this "thieving exploitation" of the Greek Cypriot properties, Turkey persists with the destruction of the cultural heritage and the natural environment in the north.

The vote followed a comprehensive debate on the issue that stressed the illegal utilisation of the refugee properties for building, tourist and business development "in violation of every principle of international and European law.'

The vote also declared that the Turkish policy aims at the creation of new faits accomplis that have a negative impact on the efforts for a just settlement and makes the following points:

– Calls on every Cypriot citizen to realise the consequences of any involvement in procedures proposed by the occupying power resulting in difficulties for pursuing the recovery of the usurped properties before international legal bodies.

– Denounces and rejects the illegal mechanism set up by Turkey and the subordinate administration in order to evade its legal obligations and compliance with international law.

– Calls on the government to use every legal and political means, and to intensify its efforts for the protection of the property rights and interests of the refugees, setting in motion all the mechanisms at its disposal.

– Calls on the government to take all necessary steps to force Turkey to comply with judgements of the European Court of Human Rights.

– Calls on the Security Council the UN Secretary-General and the European Union, also to denounce the illegal efforts of the Turkey which violate every principle of justice and legality and to take the necessary measures for ending the procedure of the exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties and for putting an end to the criminal action.

The resolution was adopted following a meeting of party leaders and representatives with House President Demetris Christofias, during which a list with the names of Greek Cypriot applicants to the illegal commission was discussed. The list was handed to Christofias by the Dias publishing group, which had earlier given it to the Attorney General.

It was decided at the cross-party meeting not to release the list to the parliamentary parties, before the names were verified by the Attorney General.

Although not expressly mentioned in the resolution, it is understood from the preceding party discussion that specific legislative or administrative measures would be adopted both against applicants to the ‘commission’ and professionals or others who encourage or assist them.

Ruling Diko parliamentary spokesman Andreas Angelides said that among other things the investigation and identification of those Greek Cypriots involved in the appropriation of refugee property would be sought.

Evroko MP Rikkos Erotocritou said that his party is already drafting a legislative proposal to deprive any Greek Cypriot refugee who applies to the so-called commission from all of his rights as a refugee, including having to return any financial assistance he has received from the state."