The Greek Cypriot police have initiated an investigation into construction on former Greek Cypriot properties in North Cyprus by Israeli companies, Kibris Postasi reports.
According to Greek Cypriot daily ‘Phileleftheros’, the investigation, which began last month, is at an advanced stage. Reportedly, Israeli property developer Yaacov Afik, who is involved in a raft of constructions in the Iskele region, faces possible arrest.
According to the Greek Cypriot press, Yaacov Afik, who had a Portuguese passport, received TRNC citizenship in 2017, and also had a “Residence Certificate of the Republic of Cyprus” at that time, with an expiration date of September 7, 2020.
The investigation includes Israeli companies operating on the Greek Cypriot side, engaged in buying and selling old Greek Cypriot properties in North Cyprus for construction purposes.
Old Greek Cypriot Title Deeds Investigated
According to the report, following meetings at political level, instructions were given to the Greek Cypriot police to begin the investigation into three issues related to the “seizure” of old Greek Cypriot properties. This included an examination of the title deeds belonging to Greek Cypriots whose properties are adjacent to the region where Afik is building luxury hotels and apartments.
The list of Greek Cypriot title deed owners in this regard was provided to the Greek Cypriot police. The police summoned the individuals on the list to confirm whether or not they had sold or transferred their old properties to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) or directly to the Israeli businessman.
It is also reported that the Greek Cypriot Police General Headquarters has reached many Greek Cypriots in this way and received their written complaints.
Construction in Esentepe
A similar police process was recently initiated for Esentepe.
According to the reports, the so-called “Ay Amvrosio” (Esentepe) muhtar (village chief) Savvas Ksiuris told Phileleftheros that Israeli companies have been constructing a large complex consisting of apartments and houses in the area known as “Kokkino horafia” (red fields) in Esentepe. He also mentioned that further development has been taking place on the eastern side of the village for some time.
Ksiuris claimed that in Esentepe, “not even a metre of Turkish Cypriot property exists“, and therefore, all investments made have not obtained permission from legal residents and are considered illegal. He also noted the presence of many luxury villa rental signs, particularly targeting British, Israeli, and Russian individuals, along the coastal area.
The newspaper stated that the Greek Cypriot authorities intend to complete their investigations regarding Iskele and Esentepe as soon as possible and plan to present the relevant report and directive to the Greek Cypriot Legal Service. The article emphasised that due to this subject being a very sensitive political issue, any actions taken would be at the level of the Greek Cypriot administration.
The newspaper also wrote that:
“As seen in the example of the arrest of a Turkish Cypriot lawyer in Italy on New Year’s Eve for the seizure of Greek Cypriot property in Klepini (Arapköy), there is data that could justify the issuance of an arrest warrant. In a similar case in 2011, British citizen Garry Rob was prosecuted for the seizure of Greek Cypriot property and later extradited to his country due to a drug-related issue“.