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Media Watch 2003

19 May 2003
Source: Simerini
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared Simerini of Nicosia on 19 May 2003.
Erdogan’s announcements are worthless


The President of the Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos described the Turkish PM’s move to allow the visit of Greek-Cypriots to Turkey as an action in order to impress, without any substantial content, and added that it was of no importance.

President Papadopoulos stressed that the main difficulty was that Turkey did not want to recognize the Republic of Cyprus and, therefore, they did not accept the passports. He added that Erdogan’s offer constituted the fulfillment of an obligation that sooner or later should have been respected. He also stated that the prohibition on the part of Turkey to ships under the Cypriot flag to approach Turkish ports was a violation of agreements signed by Turkey both with the European Union and the World Trade Organization. Besides, Mr. Papadopoulos stressed that it was not possible neither legally nor practically that an exchange of properties should take place, as Denktash demanded and according to the provisions of the Annan plan. President Papadopoulos said that based on the official records of the properties in Cyprus, the private properties of Turkish-Cypriots in the island amounts to merely 12.9%. Particularly in the occupied areas, he added, the percentage of Turkish-Cypriot properties was even smaller, while the Turkish-Cypriot properties in the free areas were one-tenth of the properties that Greek-Cypriots left behind in the occupied areas. Mr. Papadopoulos clarified that another reason that did not allow the exchange of properties was that the property right was individual and that regardless of any signed agreement, a person had the right to appeal to the European Court, to claim his property and to acquire it. President Papadopoulos reminded the court orders in the case of Titina Loizidou and that of the fourth state appeal against Turkey, which determined that all organs established by Denktash in the pseudostate and all of his actions, as the issuance of new property deeds, were invalid, since they had been made by a subject administration to Turkey, which bore the responsibility. In the meantime, the Minister of the Interior, Andreas Christou stated that the issue of the Turkish-Cypriot properties would be valued under a different perspective when a settlement of the Cyprus issue was reached. Mr. Christou made clear that if any Turkish-Cypriots chose to resettle in the free areas, where they had come from, the government would solve any problems that might arise."