Press Releases, Statements, Notes/Articles and Letters INITIATIVE BY TURKEY ON CYPRUS, 24 JANUARY 2006 Cyprus a reminder CYPRUS: WHAT HAS HAPPENED? Highlights of the UNSG´s report Cyprus (Historical Overview) What the World Said Before the Referanda What the World said After the Referanda The Annan Plan and the Greek Cypriot “NO”: False Reasons and Claims Greek Cypriot state terror revealed Confidence Building Measures (1992-1994) Meaningful Anniversary Of The Cyprus Peace Operation Turkish Parliament Proclaims Solidarity With TRNC And Demands Equal Treatment For The Two States On The Island Resolution By The Turkish Grand National Assembly On 21 January 1997 Circular Note Sent To The Embassies Of The EU Member States Concerning The Greek Cypriot Application To The EU, 30 June 1997 Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the establishment of an Association Council Resolution Adopted By The Legislative Assembly of The TRNC March 9, 1998 Aide-Memoire By The TRNC To The British High Commission In Nicosia, 26 March 1998 Documents Given By President Denktas To The UN Secretary-General During Their Meeting In Geneva- 28 March 1998 Resolution of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, 15 July 1999 Treaty Provisions And Basic Documents With Regard To The EU Membership Of Cyprus British Professor of International Law Prof. H. Mendelson Q.C.'s opinion on the legal aspects of the one-sided membership application of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus to the European Union Final communique of the annual coordination meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the States members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference ( United Nations, New York 28 September 2004, 14 Shaa'ban 1425 H - para. related to Cyprus) Report of the Secretary-General Kofi Annan on his Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus, 28 May 2004 Report of the Secretary-General Annan on the United Nations operation in in Cyprus, 3 December 2007 The Status of the Two Peoples in Cyprus Edited By Necati Münir Ertekün Greek Cypriot Attempts To Purchase Missiles From Russia And The Resulting Danger For The Peace And Stability In Cyprus EU and Cyprus:An Expert View Opinion of Professor M.H. Mendelson Q.C on the Application of “the Republic of Cyprus” to Join the European Union Grand Deception, Korkmaz HAKTANIR, Founding Member of the Cyprus Foundation '' BARBARIE A CHYPRE '' Le Soir Illustré 1967 The Need for New Perspective on Cyprus
A Deadlock Created By Justice - January 28, 1999


TDN Guest Writer

In a July 28 ruling, the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of depriving a Greek Cypriot woman, Titina Loizidou, of her property rights in northern Cyprus and ordered Turkey to pay $875,000 in compensation. 

The court rejected the following arguments:

Loizidou's claims are related to the bi-sectioning of Cyprus which was the result of Turkey's 1974 intervention, but Turkey has accepted the jurisdiction of the court only as respects the facts which occurred after 1990; the 1985 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Constitution stipulates that the responsibility arising from any exercise of rights on Greek Cypriot properties belongs to the KKTC. The court accepted that Loizidou's inability to exercise her property rights continued after 1990; and that Turkey is responsible for violations of rights in the KKTC since the KKTC is not internationally recognized as a state.

Instead of explaining this unprecedented ruling's contradictions to legal principles and its failure to take into account the historical, legal and political facts regarding the Cyprus problem, it will be more useful to contemplate an imaginary scenario in the event the ruling is implemented. In the aftermath of the 1974 intervention, a buffer zone patrolled by peacekeeping forces was established under a U.N. Security Council resolution and divided the two sides. Soon after, in 1975, an accord of population exchange was concluded between Denktas and Makarios, and in 1977 it was endorsed by an agreement between Denktas and Clerides. Under this agreement 120,000 Greek Cypriots from the north moved to the south, and 70,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south moved to the north. Both sides began to exercise de facto rights over each other's properties. That is why in the final agreement the exchange of properties, as well as clearing-type compensation, has been envisaged since then.

This concept was included in the "set of ideas" and had the approval of the U.N. Security Council. These are the realities... Now, let's imagine that the ruling of the court is enforced. Thousands of applications from both the south and the north will flood the court, and it will have to rule on similar compensations. Turkey (or the KKTC) and Greek Cyprus will not be able to pay all the compensation and therefore will not be able to abide by the rulings of the court, or in order not to face the consequences of such a situation, the sides will turn a blind eye to thousands of Turkish and Greek Cypriots moving to the opposite sectors of the island. After the constant crossings to the opposite sides, people will start to reoccupy their old houses and demand their old places of business and fields. Of course, this will lead to chaos entailing incredible difficulties and even confrontations. That is, the Cyprus problem will go back to pre-1974 conditions in the absence of a political agreement.

As a result of the court rulings, those who were the subject of the population exchange would return to their old properties; therefore, the buffer zone and the principle of bi-zonality in the final settlement would be eradicated. The peace process would revert to the status quo-ante 20 years ago. At first glance this seems to be a wonderful development for the Greek Cypriots. But this is misleading. The Cyprus problem did not erupt out of nothing, and thus cannot disappear into thin air. The sad events of 1963-1974 are still in our memories. Without working out a sound political solution which will not allow the recurrence of the events of the past, the return of a great number of people to their old properties cannot produce any result other than violence... Then will it be the court who will prevent the bloodshed? Political disputes are much more comprehensive and complicated than the right of an individual to exercise his or her property rights. What is at stake is the preservation of international peace, that is the prevention of war and its material and spiritual damage. If peace does not exist, then there are no grounds for respect of human rights.

The mandate of the court is limited to the securing of compliance with human rights in a state of peace. While having the authority to pass judgement on issues within its jurisdiction, the court should be extremely careful not to create chaos on crucial issues which fall outside of its jurisdiction. The Delegates' Committee will decide whether or not this unfortunate ruling will be implemented. There is no backing off for the court. But the committee should avoid the point of no return. If Turkey is forced to quit the Council of Europe for this reason, it will be an ironic rather than a grave development.