Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2005

30 December 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 30 December 2005.
Rights Court clouded verdict

"Turkey was slammed yet again yesterday by the European Court of Human Rights for its continuing gross violation of the rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees who are not allowed to return or to regain their properties.

Greek Cypriots and all law-abiding people everywhere cannot but express their satisfaction with this new Court judgement, particularly since this is stronger than the previous ones because it specifically rejects new Turkish demands like approving the usurpation of Greek Cypriot refugee homes by the illegal Turkish settlers.

This satisfaction is clouded, however, because the Court, while recognising the right of the refugees to return and to the restitution of their properties, did not at the same time punish Turkey by fining it heavily there and then, unless it ceases its violation of the European Convention of Human Rights by allowing the refugees to return to their homes.

This step was left in abeyance giving Turkey six months to respond and creating confusion as to the motives behind such a period of grace. The Turkish side is already hailing this as a victory and as opening the way for the settlement of the whole issue of the refugees' rights before the special courts being set up in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, even though the Rights Court yesterday repeated that the breakaway state is illegal and nothing but a vassal of the Turkish occupying power.

Turkey has brazenly refused to comply with any of the previous judgements of the Rights Court, which it holds in utter contempt. The most tragic, and completely unacceptable, aspect of this insulting behaviour instead of punishing the law breaker.

One consolation in the latest Court judgement is that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is specifically asked to ensure that Turkey complies with it.

It remains to be seen however how the Rights Court will react when the period of grace it has granted Turkey expires. Will it insist,as it surely must, as it spells out in its latest judgement that the refugees have an right to return and to regain their properties that simply cannot be denied!

While the politicians regretfully refuse to act to ensure that Turkey respects their own Court and the articles of the Rights Convention, the Rights Court cannot under any circumstances close its eyes by treating Turkey leniently, as it did yesterday in the latest case brought before it, instead of slamming it even harder because of the continuing contempt it shows to the Court's previous judgements!"