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Garbitsch's Gradual Settlement Proposal

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Postby Kifeas » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:27 pm

bg_turk wrote:
Kifeas wrote:You simply isolated a few cases, which have seen the lights of publicity, in order to claim that the RoC violates the TC's property rights. I know a hell a lot more cases in which the TC property owners got re-possession of their properties and some of them even sold them. This however was done after they had been cleared out of any abuse challenges regarding misuse of GC properties in the north.

Excuse my ignorance, but I know of no case where a TC has been able to reclaim (not buy) his land. Can you give an example and preferably a source for it?


You speak about sources in such an over-simplified way, as if everything in this world is up and running on the Internet and I will just provide you with a link. You are welcome to come over in Cyprus and I will take you to the place of the said properties and to the land registry and you will be convinced of what I said beyond doubt.
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Postby bg_turk » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:29 pm

Kifeas wrote:My friend, you make me laugh!


Glad I can entertain you :-)

The TCs will not apply to the ECHRs against "TRNC." They will apply against the RoC!
The TCs will not apply to the ECHRs in their capacity of "TRNC" "citizens."
They will apply in their capacity as RoC citizens!
Some of them have already done so, for other reasons, not property related, such as the case of Ibrahim Aziz, a TC citizen of the RoC, who applied and won against the RoC.

I am sure you know the procedures better than I do, but isnt it true that you first need to apply to local courts before your case is deemed admissable, which means TCs have to apply to RoC courts first, which of course rule in their favor, but then cite implementation problems and the status quo and the whole thing lasts forever.

Besides TCs are in different situation politically than GCs. While GCs were encouraged by their leadership to apply to the ECHR, TCs were actually discouraged to seek their properties in the South since this is conflicting with the bizonal nature of the solution the turkish leadership was seeking. I think only recently have TCs started to actively seek their rights and i am afraid you will be in very big trouble when the first ruling against the RoC on this issue comes.

I would also appreciate if you refrain from personal attacks and belittling other people's intelligence.
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Postby Kifeas » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:47 pm

garbitsch wrote:You misunderstood me. What I was trying to say, this property issue should be solved in a settlement plan, and I do not really love to see G.Cs suing Turkey at ECHR all the time. As you say, it is as hard for a Turkish Cypriot to claim back his property in south as it is for a G.C.

Please, I want to clear the puzzle in my mind regarding to this issue. No need to use such language Kifeas.


Garbitsch, nothing personal! What I said was a general remark.
The case of the GC's is quite different from that of the TC's.

-The TC’s are still considered by the RoC as the owners of their properties.
-The GC’s are not considered by the regime in the north and by Turkey to be the owners of their properties.
-The TC’s can technically and /or theoretically and /or legally claim their properties in the south from the RoC, although in practice there are certain small or not so small complications.
-The GCs are not technically and /or theoretically and /or legally able to claim from Turkey and eventually gain possession of their properties.
-The TC properties in the south have not undergone an ownership status change by the RoC.
-The GC properties in the north have undergone an illegal ownership status change by the “TRNC.”
-The TCs who got GC properties in the north, have been given illegal ownership title deeds by the “TRNC,” which gave them the ability to abuse the use of these properties, develop them, and /or sell them to third parties.
-The (few) GCs who got TC properties in the south, have not been given any ownership title deeds by the RoC, and thus were prevented to abuse their status except for mere use of them in their original form and solely for the purpose of making a living.

These are the rules. Some (very few) exceptions to these rules did occur.
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Postby garbitsch » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:00 am

Thanks for the detailed info.

I have come across to many Turkish Cypriots who claim that their homes were destroyed. They even say many Turkish Cypriot villages were torn down. My father's house is one of those destroyed houses. Do I still have the right to get compensation for that house, even if I was offered a Greek Cypriot property in North? Is the RoC willing to pay compensations for the destroyed properties? Are they recorded?
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Postby Kifeas » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:12 am

bg_turk wrote:
Kifeas wrote:My friend, you make me laugh!


Glad I can entertain you :-)

The TCs will not apply to the ECHRs against "TRNC." They will apply against the RoC!
The TCs will not apply to the ECHRs in their capacity of "TRNC" "citizens."
They will apply in their capacity as RoC citizens!
Some of them have already done so, for other reasons, not property related, such as the case of Ibrahim Aziz, a TC citizen of the RoC, who applied and won against the RoC.

I am sure you know the procedures better than I do, but isnt it true that you first need to apply to local courts before your case is deemed admissable, which means TCs have to apply to RoC courts first, which of course rule in their favor, but then cite implementation problems and the status quo and the whole thing lasts forever.

Besides TCs are in different situation politically than GCs. While GCs were encouraged by their leadership to apply to the ECHR, TCs were actually discouraged to seek their properties in the South since this is conflicting with the bizonal nature of the solution the turkish leadership was seeking. I think only recently have TCs started to actively seek their rights and i am afraid you will be in very big trouble when the first ruling against the RoC on this issue comes.

I would also appreciate if you refrain from personal attacks and belittling other people's intelligence.


Yes, they have to first exhaust the domestic legal /judicial means, but if these prove not to be effective and /or efficient and /or satisfactory, then nothing prevents them from applying to the ECHRs.

The reason the TCs are not compelled to do so is has to do with what they were subjected to do by the illegal regime in the north, in order to get possession of GC properties in the north.

The biggest outlaw of Cyprus, namely "Mr." Rauf Denktash, "forced" them to illegally trade with him and his illegal regime their properties in the south, in exchange of the GC properties that he illegally expropriated in the north after 1974. He made them sign papers by which they illegally "transferred" their property ownership in the south to the "TRNC" and in exchange to this he "sold" to them the GC properties that he illegally usurped. According to these "contracts" that they signed, they accepted not to claim their properties in the south, otherwise the GC properties they were given in exchange will be "re-possesed" by the regime and they will also pay penalties. To this end, the vast majority of them are afraid to individually claim their properties from the RoC due to fears that they may be penalised by the regime in the north.

Of course all these acts by Denkatsh are completely illegal and cannot constitute a valid basis. However, because the TCs live in the north, they cannot turn against the practices of the regime, even though they know they illegality of the acts in which they proceeded to become involved.
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Postby bg_turk » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:14 am

garbitsch wrote:Thanks for the detailed info.

I have come across to many Turkish Cypriots who claim that their homes were destroyed. They even say many Turkish Cypriot villages were torn down. My father's house is one of those destroyed houses. Do I still have the right to get compensation for that house, even if I was offered a Greek Cypriot property in North? Is the RoC willing to pay compensations for the destroyed properties? Are they recorded?


Garbitsch, I am curious as to why you haven't applied to the ECHR.
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Postby Kifeas » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:24 am

garbitsch wrote:Thanks for the detailed info.

I have come across to many Turkish Cypriots who claim that their homes were destroyed. They even say many Turkish Cypriot villages were torn down. My father's house is one of those destroyed houses. Do I still have the right to get compensation for that house, even if I was offered a Greek Cypriot property in North? Is the RoC willing to pay compensations for the destroyed properties? Are they recorded?


If it can be proved that the destruction of any TC houses was due to the RoC negligence, then the state is perfectly liable to pay compensation to the owners. However, if the destruction occurred due to the mere fact that they were abandoned in 1974 and thus were destroyed due to natural wear and tear, or simply because no one got hold of them so that they were maintained, then I do not believe the RoC will be willing, especially prior to a comprehensive settlement scenario, to pay compensation.

If a house was in good condition in 1974 and then the state allowed someone to use it for his housing needs, and then this person destroyed the house, then the state is perfectly liable to compensate the TC owner.

If the house was in good condition in 1974 but it was not given to someone to live in, but at the same time the state did not take measures to protect it and consequently other people got the chance to destroy the house, then again the state is liable.
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Postby bg_turk » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:42 am

Kifeas wrote:Yes, they have to first exhaust the domestic legal /judicial means, but if these prove not to be effective and /or efficient and /or satisfactory, then nothing prevents them from applying to the ECHRs.

The reason the TCs are not compelled to do so is has to do with what they were subjected to do by the illegal regime in the north, in order to get possession of GC properties in the north.

The biggest outlaw of Cyprus, namely "Mr." Rauf Denktash, "forced" them to illegally trade with him and his illegal regime their properties in the south, in exchange of the GC properties that he illegally expropriated in the north after 1974. He made them sign papers by which they illegally "transferred" their property ownership in the south to the "TRNC" and in exchange to this he "sold" to them the GC properties that he illegally usurped. According to these "contracts" that they signed, they accepted not to claim their properties in the south, otherwise the GC properties they were given in exchange will be "re-possesed" by the regime and they will also pay penalties. To this end, the vast majority of them are afraid to individually claim their properties from the RoC due to fears that they may be penalised by the regime in the north.

Of course all these acts by Denkatsh are completely illegal and cannot constitute a valid basis. However, because the TCs live in the north, they cannot turn against the practices of the regime, even though they know they illegality of the acts in which they proceeded to become involved.

Well, you have answered your own question of why no turkish cypriot has yet applied to ECHR so far and clearly it is not for lack of unjustice against TCs. I have managed to compile a list of Cypriots of Turkish origin whose properties have not been returned and in some cases permamently expropriated under various pretexts by the RoC:
    Arif Mustafa
    Huseyin Helvacioglu
    Mustafa Ibrahim Musfata
    Esat Mustafa

(I never realized Mustafa was such a common cypriot name :D )

The first 3 are based on info in Cyprus Mail:

Arif Mustafa

Minister hits back over airport land claim
|Main issue| Sunday, June 5, 2005, by Elias Hazou
A landmark case last year, involving the return of a house to Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa, was put on hold when the Supreme Court suspended an initial order to return the property to its original owner. Though the court accepted Mustafa’s claim as rightful, it postponed execution of the order when the Attorney-general appealed the decision. The issue had deep political undertones, as the house is currently used by Greek Cypriot refugees.


Huseyin Helvacioglu

This man owns Larnaca Airport
|Main issue| Saturday, June 4, 2005, by Simon Bahceli

Huseyin Helvacioglu, a refugee from Larnaca now living in Kyrenia, told the bi-communal weekly publication Dialogue, “They built Larnaca airport without my permission.

“Now I hear they are entering a second stage of building. I won’t let this happen. The land belongs to my brother and myself, and we want it back”.

It was unclear yesterday whether Helvacioglu had applied to begin legal proceedings against the Republic, but if he does, he will become the first Turkish Cypriot living in the north to seek compensation for properties expropriated by the state.

....
He is seeking £100 million in compensation for unauthorized exploitation of his property, citing the landmark case of Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou who was awarded one million dollars for her house in Kyrenia.

But Interior Minister Andreas Christou, though confirming Helvacioglu’s demands, downplayed the possibility of the case going to court in the Republic, and ruled out any compensation before a settlement of the political issue on the island.


Mustafa Ibrahim Musfata

Mustafa considers next move
|Main issue| Tuesday, October 12, 2004, by George Psyllides

"The owner, 86-year-old Mustafa Ibrahim Mustafa, has been trying to claim his property, a total of 200 donums of land and two houses since 2001.
He filed lawsuits and lodged a complaint with Ombudswoman Eliana Nicolaou who suggested in December 2001 that Ibrahim Mustafa should be given £48,300 (in 1998 values) plus nine per cent interest since then.
The state also appropriated another piece of the elderly man’s land worth £137,000 but again he got nothing in compensation."


Esat Mustafa
http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/200 ... .tcpr.html
[01] Vroishia people demand cantonal arrangement
Esat Mustafa further claimed that in 1964 their village was expropriated by the Cyprus government and systematically destroyed by the Department of Forestry and that they are in the process of recourse to the European Court of Human Rights in order to get back their village.

Esat Mustafa, who is living in London, said that next week they will file a compensation demand through the Cyprus High Commission in London to the Minister of Interior Andreas Christou. Esat Mustafa said that they will demand from the Cyprus government to rebuild their destroyed village according to the EU standards with all its infrastructure and roads and return it to them.

He said that they hold the title deed of the village which has a 300-years of history.


Can you answer very concretely why those people are still being denied their legal rights to own and dispose of their properties as they wish?
Last edited by bg_turk on Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bg_turk » Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:12 am

Kifeas wrote:If it can be proved that the destruction of any TC houses was due to the RoC negligence, then the state is perfectly liable to pay compensation to the owners. However, if the destruction occurred due to the mere fact that they were abandoned in 1974 and thus were destroyed due to natural wear and tear, or simply because no one got hold of them so that they were maintained, then I do not believe the RoC will be willing, especially prior to a comprehensive settlement scenario, to pay compensation.


What if the house was destroyed by RoC authorities such as in the case of the village of Esat Mustafa? Would he be liable to compensation?
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Postby garbitsch » Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:56 am

Well that house belonged to my grandparents, who are not alive now. It's up to my dad if he wants to do anything regarding his destroyed house. We really do not know how it was destroyed, but according to my dad, the two storey house was in a very good condition and apparently it was destroyed intentionally, since none of the houses closed to ours were touched.
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