A 78-year-old Greek Cypriot has said that he is determined to settle in Kozanköy, after the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) decided to return his land to him.
In an interview with ‘Yeni Duzen’, Nicolas Skourides said that he wanted to spend the remaining years of his life in the place that he was born.
Skourides said that after visiting his village in 2003 when the border was opened, he was heartsick when he saw that his house had collapsed. He noted that afterwards, he started visiting his village to have coffee with the Turkish Cypriots living there and that he became friends with them. He added that during his visits to the village, he saw that there was no activity in his plot of land and found out that it had been given to no one. “Because it had not been given to anyone, I would not be disturbing anyone”, he said, adding that he decided to apply to the IPC when his hopes of a solution to the Cyprus problem diminished.
“I thought that if I took my property back, I would built a house in my village, spent the last part of my life in the place I lived during my early years and die in the place I was born”, he said.
Kozanköy (Larnakas tis Lapithou) was mainly populated by Greek Cypriots who fled during the Turkish military intervention in 1974 and resettled across the south of Cyprus. It was renamed Kozan after 1974 and became home to displaced Turkish Cypriots from a number of villages in Paphos District in the south who moved there after 1974.
Skourides said that he had always been friends with the Turkish Cypriots even when there were troubles between the two communities. Problems arise when the politicians get involved, he said. Mr. Skourides added that he could well understand the suffering of the Turkish Cypriots who had lived in the south and had to move north having lost their goods and property. He said that he would like to see a solution to the Cyprus problem, even if it is not perfect. I don’t see people as nationals or from any particular religion. We are all human he said.