Court Ruling That Varosha is Evkaf Property is Wrong

A ruling by the Famagusta District Court that Varosha/Maraş belongs to the Evkaf should be quashed, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey at the Council of Europe Daryal Batibay has argued.

In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’, he said that the ruling complied neither with the principals of universal law nor with TRNC laws.

The former Turkish ambassador said the following:

“In order for the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) to be able to examine the application regarding Varosha, the decision of the District Court of Famagusta of 2005 should be quashed. I have said this before as well. This decision should be quashed on the grounds of procedure, because it is a decision taken without informing the persons who had abandoned Varosha in 1974 having title deeds in their hands. […] However, this decision complies neither with the universal law principles nor with the TRNC laws. Because, in order for a case to be able to be examined at the court, everyone concerned should be present in that court. This is a universal law rule and it is still valid in the TRNC as well. Therefore the decision should be annulled and the Supreme Court should take a decision in this direction […]

“There is a process ahead of us until 4 November [KV Mediterranean Tours Limited v Turkey]. If in this process the Supreme Court issues a decision, if it issues a decision that quashes that decision, there is the case of the plaintiff company in question and around 500 other complains accept this, the IPC might find the possibility to examine all of them. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will be very pleased with this situation and the way of local remedies will open again.

“Currently there is no ‘way of national law’ regarding Varosha. And the Greek Cypriot applicants are anyway trying to prove that the system of local remedies is defunct in the TRNC. They argue that the decision of the court in Famagusta has eliminated this. If until 4 November we are not able to overcome the legal obstacle which we have created for ourselves, it will appear that the IPC is not an effective local remedy and unfortunately the nationalist circles in the south will be extremely pleased. We should also say the following: The Turkish Cypriot community will lose a wonderful opportunity from the point of view of its international legitimacy […]

“A few days ago, Turkish President Erdogan and TRNC Prime Minister Tatar held a meeting and in the joint statement they issued it was said that ‘we have discussed the effective work of the IPC and the issue of Varosha and determined a road map’. […]

“Is Varosha Evkaf property or not? This debate seems interesting to me actually. I really cannot understand this. Because Varosha came under the Turkish Army’s control 45 years ago, did it not? Was the Turkish Army the one that prevented Evakf from obtaining its properties in Varosha until today? Can such a thing happen? […]

“After the Crans-Montana Cyprus negotiations [2017] collapsed, I had made some comments. I had said that the Greek Cypriot side, by using its international legitimacy, by using the differences deriving from the positions of the two sides, is pursuing delaying tactics, instead of a permanent solution. […] Then how could we turn the status quo in our favour internationally and be more balanced with the other side? I had suggested three things:

“First and foremost, to ensure the speedy functioning the Immovable Property Commission. When this is done, what will happen? Every time the Greek Cypriots claim rights in the north, you will draw the carpet from under their feet. […] Why 20%, 30% Greek Cypriots to return to the north in a federal state to be established? Because their lands remained in the north to a great extent. If you nationalise the lands of the Greek Cypriots with the IPC trick, you will be changing the basis. And you will be doing this with the consent of the Greek Cypriot property owners.

“Second was the return of the Maronites. This is a sign of multiculturalism. […]

“And third, was the opening of the properties in Varosha under Turkish administration only for those who accept the authority of the IPC and want to return. […]

“The Greek Cypriots from Varosha have a group on the internet. They asked them a question saying ‘will you return to Varosha under Turkish administration?’ I was told that 40% said ‘I will return’. 30% said ‘I will definitely not return’. And the other 30% said that ‘I will watch those who will return and decide if they are satisfied’. That is, 70% are not against the idea of returning. This is a very important number. I hope positive decisions were produced in this direction during the last meetings in Ankara. […]”


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