The fact that the Immovable Property Commission (IPC), which has been designated by the ECHR as a ‘domestic remedy’, has been unable to provide any remedies for the last four years and the Greek Cypriot applications for selling their property in the TRNC area are left unanswered, has created serious concerns.
A debate was held at the TRNC Assembly where Turkish Cypriot politicians said that the commission should be activated in order for the Greek Cypriot properties to be legally transferred to the current users. They also stressed the importance of the land value tax law, which aims to overcome their financial difficulties.
Ferdi Soyer, representing the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that the decision of the ECHR on the Demopoulos case in 2010, created new legal grounds. He explained that compensation was paid for the value of the property and the property changed hands, contrary to Loizidou’s case, where the owners were compensated but the property still belonging to them.
Soyer stressed that if this changed because of the ineffectiveness of the IPC, then they would return to the previous situation. For this reason, he added that the funding of the IPC, which was cancelled by the current coalition government, should be re-established and the 30% of the profits from renting state land should be transferred to this fund.
Ersin Tatar, deputy for the National Unity Party (UBP), said that this issue had been discussed with the Turkish authorities. He argued that it was a serious problem and the IPC should survive. Firstly, the issue should be discussed with experts, the IPC, and the interior ministry. He explained that if the idea was to Turkify North Cyprus by compensating the Greek Cypriots for their properties, then the amount of two billion sterling is required. This amount was equal to the TRNC’s gross national income, Tatar added. He concluded by saying that if the IPC became ineffective, this would be a very bad development.
Mustafa Arabacioglu, deputy for the Democratic Party (DP), shared Tatar’s view that properties in the north should become Turkish by compensating Greek Cypriot owners, adding that there was no returning to the old system.
Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), stressed that it was not correct to take unilateral steps on this issue. He proposed that the decision on the IPC should be discussed by both communities under the auspices of the UN.