The Chairman of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC*), Növber Ferit Veçhi, was interviewed by Yeniduzen regarding the validity of the IPC.
She underlined the significance of the IPC in light of the incident involving the arrest of Turkish Cypriot lawyer Akan Kürşat in Italy on charges of “facilitating the sale of Greek Cypriot properties“. Kürşat also is reportedly linked to British criminal Gary Robb who swindled numbers British expats over property in Arapköy.
Veçhi stated that addressing and resolving applications within the IPC would overcome many issues related to property. The IPC constitutes an effective domestic legal remedy recognised by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe, she asserted. Veçhi also highlighted the importance of the continued existence of the internationally recognised commission for the Turkish Cypriots.
According to the head of the IPC, properties addressed in cases concluded by the commission gain legitimacy in international law, preventing further disputes. Veçhi stated that as of January 12, 2024, the IPC had received 7,473 applications, with 1,502 cases concluded. The total compensation awarded reached £422,109,211 sterling.
Additionally, various types of decisions, such as restitution, post-solution restitution, compensation and restitution, exchange and compensation, and partial restitution, had been made. Furthermore, under the Acapulco Law (Law No. 13/2008), 30 applications for permission to sell and transfer properties between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, involving leases of three years or longer, were received, 12 of which were resolved in favour of Turkish Cypriots.
She also clarified that the commission does not handle payments; instead, it falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance.
Veçhi reported that approximately two-thirds of the estimated compensation amount had been paid, with £12,189,670 sterling paid in 32 cases related to the year 2023, and payments continuing. She emphasised the commission’s focus on completing cases, ensuring fair evaluations within the framework of justice.
Veçhi said: “According to our estimate, approximately two-thirds of the compensation amount determined by the IPC has been paid to date. According to the information we obtained from the Ministry of Finance, £12, 189,000 in 2023.
“There were 32 files paid, corresponding to £670,000. Payments continue”, she said.
*The IPC was established in December 2005 under Law No. 67/2005, in line with the judgments of the ECHR in the Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey case. The commission aims to assess claims related to rights asserted over movable and immovable properties in the territories of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, providing binding decisions on property restitution, exchange, or compensation.