Property disputes, as and when the Cyprus problem is settled, will not be solved through methods reported by some newspapers and media, President Mustafa Akinci has said.
Commenting on various reports in the press that Greek Cypriots have been knocking on the doors of TRNC citizens in Yeni Erenkoy and harassing them about their properties, Akinci repeated that property cases will be solved through a bi-communal ‘property commission’ based on various criteria.
“If these reports are true and people have been harassing current users and owners of properties in question, then this is not the correct or right thing to do. This is not how property disputes will be solved. As we have repeatedly announced to the public, the fact that the individual’s right to property is being respected does not mean individuals can go knocking on people’s doors and settling the issues on their own. If that is how it has been understood then it has been misunderstood”, he said.
He reminded that the property commission to be established will be comprised of an equal number of Turkish and Greek Cypriots who will decide how to settle the dispute on the basis of the criteria determined in the solution agreement. “This means individuals will apply to the commission but the commission will decide on the basis of the criteria”, he added.
Akinci also said that the settlement to be reached will be of a bi-zonal character which meant that most property cases will be settled through compensation.
Responding to a question as to how TRNC citizens should respond to Greek Cypriots knocking on their doors, Akinci said that there is no reason to treat people badly. He drew attention to the fact that the border has been opened for the past 12 years and that there has been no major incident involving members of the two communities with the exception of a few minor isolated incidents during that time.
“What happens if someone comes to your home and knocks on your door? You invite them in and serve them coffee, chat with them and then kindly see them off. That’s all that you need to do. Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to once again repeat myself. These issues are not to be settled in this manner so there is no need for anyone to feel concerned or worried”, he added.