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Media Watch 2003

06 June 2003
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 6 June 2003.
Turkish bid to play for more time on Loizidou is rejected


THE Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers has checked another attempt by Turkey to play for more time in paying a Q450,000 compensation award to Greek Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou, ordered in 1998 by the European Court of Human Rights.

In a session in Strasbourg this week, Turkey asked for a postponement until next October "in order to come up with a new proposal" but the committee told Istanbul to come back with a clear answer in two weeks "if it is willing to pay the compensation before October and without any conditions."

According to reports from Strasbourg, it was made clear to Turkey that, in the absence of a satisfactory reply, the process would be initiated for a strong interim resolution condemning her. Lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, who had presented Loizidou's case to the ECHR, said in a statement to the CNA in Strasbourg that the committee decision was positive.

"The stance of the committee is encouraging because the short extension given to Ankara shows that the pressure for the implementation of the judgement continues," Demetriades said. During the Committee session the Turkish representative maintained that his country wanted very much to close the case, adding that it was ready to undertake a new initiative towards this. 

He went on, however, to suggest that Turkey would pay the compensation to Loizidou if the "courts" of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state were recognised as eligible to offer local remedies to Greek Cypriot refugees who claimed their property.

This was countered by the representatives of Cyprus and Greece, who criticised Turkey for trying to politicise the issue. 

They also reminded the committee that the ECHR had issued a judgement against Turkey and not against the pseudo-state.

Various delegations such as Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, France, Armenia and Ireland, called on Turkey to make it clear if she intended to pay the compensation by October without any strings attached.

The Human Rights Director General, Mr Imber, said that the question of "property courts" in northern Cyprus was a matter for the ECHR to decide and that the issue should not be connected to the Loizidou case."