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
Turkey may forfeit CE membership for interests in Cyprus January 28, 1999


Ankara - Turkish Daily News

Experts: In order to find a way out of the dispute, the Delegates Committee can decide to freeze the  case for a certain time

The pressure on Turkey to comply with a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights regarding a Greek Cypriot property case is growing, but Ankara remains resolute that the ruling is inapplicable and hints that it may even sacrifice its membership in the Council of Europe in order to defend its position on the longstanding Cyprus dispute.

The controversy erupted last July, when the court, the Council of Europe's judicial body, ordered that Turkey pay compensation for depriving a Greek Cypriot woman, Titina Loizidou, of her property rights in Kyrenia, a city in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), and provide her with free access to the property in question.

Oct. 28 was the deadline for Turkey to comply with the ruling and since then a monthly interest rate of 8 percent is being added to the some $700,000 which Turkey was ordered to pay.

Ankara maintains that the case is not a human rights issue, but a part of the political problem of Cyprus. Ankara says that with the ruling in question the European Court of Human Rights had intervened in a problem which is a part of the United Nations initiative for solution on the island.
If a Council of Europe country does not comply with the rulings of the court, it may face either suspension of its membership or expulsion from the organization.

To date, the Delegates Committee of the Council of Europe, which is assigned to scrutinize the implementations of the rulings of the court, has gathered three times to discuss the situation. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8.
"We insist on our position that the ruling of the court is inapplicable. The issue is directly related to the solution process on Cyprus... Even if the Council of Europe decides to suspend Turkey's membership or expel it from the organization, we are ready to face this in the name of defending Turkey's positions and interests on Cyprus," a high-level Foreign Ministry official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Turkish Daily News. 

Diplomats from other Council of Europe countries acknowledge that the ruling was very much politically loaded, but say that Turkey should comply with the ruling in order to preserve the authority and esteem of the court. Following the expiration of the time in which Turkey was supposed to pay the compensation, the organs of the court stepped up pressure on Turkey.

Commenting on possible ways out of this complicated dispute, legal experts say that the best option for the Delegates Committee is to freeze the case for a certain time. According to the rules of the Council of Europe, the Delegates Committee is assigned with scrutinizing the implementations of the court's rulings. The committee has the authority to determine a specific period of time in which the country in question has to implement the rulings.

Instead of determining such a schedule, experts say, the committee can decide to freeze the case and shelve it until progress is recorded on property issues in the U.N.-sponsored talks between the two sides in Cyprus. 

Turkish officials believe that the Council of Europe cannot easily opt to expel Turkey, a founding member of the organization. "Suspension or expulsion are sanctions foreseen for grave violations of democracy. I do not think that the Loizidou case can be included into this classification," a high-level official said.  

The official said, however, the Council of Europe members may use the Loizidou case to corner Turkey on the Cyprus issue and force it to give concessions. The Loizidou case constitutes a precedent and a flow of other similar applications from Greek Cypriots may flood the court.

Tactical maneuvers

Another factor which was further complicating the Loizidou case was the fact that the European Commission of Human Rights, a sub-organ of the court, rejected in 1993 Loizidou's claim of "continuing violation of property rights" as a correlative of the right to free movement, acknowledged the exercise of exclusive jurisdiction by the authorities of North Cyprus which could not be imputable to Turkey and came to the conclusion that no violation of the European Convention of Human Rights had occurred.  Later Greek Cyprus brought the case before the court and the subsequent ruling constituted a flagrant contradiction to the previous decision of the commission. However, in September Loizidou announced that she wanted to withdraw her 1993 application to the commission and in December her demand was accepted. Therefore, the ruling of the commission which was strengthening Turkey's hand, became invalid.

Foreign Ministry officials said that this decision proved how biased the organs of the Council of Europe were against Turkey and criticized them for not questioning why Loizidou did not withdraw her application in the period between 1993 and 1998. In other decisions brought down by the European Court of Human Rights, particularly on violations in Southeast Anatolia, in which Turkey was ordered to pay compensation, the Turkish authorities have quietly paid up even though they continued to blast the decisions as being overtly political in nature or legally unsound. The Loizidou case is the first time that Turkey has refused to accept a ruling of the court.

Is the council alienating Turkey?

The fact that the increased pressure on Ankara in connection with the Loizidou case coincided with a report by two Council of Europe parliamentarians harshly criticizing Turkey raised question on whether Europe is trying to alienate Turkey. "I do not think that this is a mere coincidence. They are trying to corner Turkey from all fronts," the high-level diplomat told the TDN.

The report, which was debated last Monday, called on Turkey to conduct reforms aimed at improving, in particular, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the rights of detainees. It urged Turkey to cooperate with the so-called Venice Commission in conducting constitutional reforms. The commission, whose official name is the European Commission for Democracy Through Law, was established with the aim of supporting the development of democracy in the new democratic states of Central and East European countries by helping them in legal and constitutional work aimed at reforming their legal systems. The fact that the report calls on Turkey, a Council of Europe member since 1949, to cooperate with the Venice Commission, rendered Turkey to the position of a newly-admitted country.