South Cyprus Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos has promised to end the mismanagement of Turkish Cypriot properties.
Addressing a watchdog committee on Tuesday, he said that people “have to understand that they are not [the] owners.”
Hasikos said some of the refugees given Turkish Cypriot properties were abusing their rights.
“We need to put an end to this. People are treating properties like they own it and use it for commercial purposes or even subletting it for a profit without having the right to do so,” said Hasikos, adding that in some cases people were given management of Turkish Cypriot properties without even being refugees.
Giving control of Turkish Cypriot properties for a token amount was a means of compensating refugees from the 1974 Turkish “invasion”.
“Some of the people we found might not even have property in the occupied areas, or they have a considerably more expensive property compared to what they had before the war,” the minister noted.
Hasikos said the ministry was in the middle of redistributing Turkish Cypriot properties, “so as we are fair while we are in the middle of a financial crisis.”
But with the crisis, people are even falling back on the token rent. According to the minister, the state is owed 6.2 million euros.