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

18 December 2005
Source: Sunday Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Sunday Mail of Nicosia on 18 December 2005.
ECHR poised for key property judgement


"THE EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will issue its judgment on Thursday in the case of Myra Xenides-Arestis, who has challenged Turkey for violating her human rights by preventing her access to her property in Famagusta since 1974.

The Arestis case was deemed admissible by the ECHR in April this year. In the decision, the court rejected Turkey’s objections that domestic remedies had not been exhausted.

The court said that the remedy established in the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ could not be regarded as an “effective” or “adequate” means for redressing the applicant’s complaints.

In the wake of the court’s opinion, the Turkish Cypriot side has been discussing ways to rectify the shortcoming in the ‘property commission’ in the north. The changes could be put the vote in the north as early as Monday.

Turkish Cypriot Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) leader Mustafa Akinci said earlier this week it was all a ploy to gain time. He believes such a change in the law is simply a smokescreen that will do little or nothing to help resolve the island’s three decades old property dispute.

Achilleas Demetriades, the lawyer for Arestis, told the Sunday Mail yesterday that Thursday’s decision would be crucial for other pending cases as this was a test case.

“The Arestis case is of particular importance because it involves property in the fenced-off area of Famagusta,” he said.

He said the fact that the judgment was coming out on Thursday would inevitably have implications for the discussions in the north on the property issue.

“It means that the discussions on the new legislation in the sub local administration will not have any bearing on this judgment,” Demetriades said."