Sunday, 25 September 2022
Chairman of the People’s Party (HP) Kudret Özersay has welcomed the decision of the European Council to close the Loizidou* case and pointed out that it is a positive development that the EU Council of Ministers had decided to close it, Kibris Postasi reports.
*On 22 July 1989 a Greek Cypriot national Titina Loizidou filed an application against Turkey to the European Court of Human Rights, to have access to her property in Kyrenia. In a landmark case in 1996, the European Court ordered Turkey to pay damages for denying Loizidou the use of her property in Kyrenia.
Despite eventually being paid one million euros in restitution in 2003, Loizidou insisted on pursuing Turkey for her right to use her property.
Loizidou consistently had refused to file an application with the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) established in 2005, claiming that Turkish forces had prevented and continued to prevent her from returning to northern Cyprus and peacefully enjoying the use of her property.
However, last week, the Committee of Deputy Ministers of the Council of Europe ruled that Loizidou’s case should be closed.
Özersay Welcomes The Decision
Özersay, while welcoming the judgement, noted that the IPC had issues of its own to resolve. He said, “You lose the moment you believe you win in cases such as human rights processes being overdone instead of being reasonable, trying to ignore the fact that others have rights, and trying to use the struggle for rights as a political tool…. However, we should also show the necessary sensitivity to the issue of the IPC, keeping this in mind”.
He also emphasised that if human rights issues are intended to be used as a political tool, the Council of Europe will put an end to it eventually.
“As the Greek Cypriot leadership tried to exploit the processes of the ECtHR with political intent, it faced this result and was sad at the end of the day. Similarly If we do not want to stay in a situation, we should take the problems of the IPC seriously today”, Özersay said.
“In the eyes of the European human rights system, the IPC is a domestic remedy in the context of Turkey, yes, but it is an institution of the TRNC and was established by the TRNC with a law accepted by the TRNC Republican Assembly. When the issue is viewed from this perspective, the IPC is an institution that should be embraced much more than in the past“, he said.
In a press release issued by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU Council of Ministers decision was viewed as a positive development, albeit a very late one. It read as follows:
“With this decision, it has been once again reaffirmed that the Immovable Property Commission (IPC), established in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), in line with the ECtHR judgments, is an effective domestic remedy.
“First and foremost, the effectiveness of the IPC had been confirmed through the Strasbourg Court’s Dimopoulos decision in 2010; and the relevant established case-law was also reaffirmed in the subsequent ECtHR judgments.
“Despite the fact that Turkish Cypriot people have been subjected to inhumane isolation in front of the international community for decades, we appreciate the efforts of the TRNC to implement the relevant judgments of the ECtHR. These efforts make a significant contribution to the preservation of the European Convention on Human Rights system.
“On the other hand, non-closure of the relevant cluster of “Cyprus vs. Turkey judgements, during the same meeting, constitute a great inconsistency. This fact once again shows that certain circles may aim to erode the Convention system for the sake of their political interests.
“We would like to reiterate our President’s call in relation to the TRNC, which continues to play its role towards the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights system, to attain its rightful place within the international community”.