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Investigation Urged by PACE Member Over Cyprus Property Sales Arrests

property disputes cyprus

Turkish Cypriot officials at PACE are calling for an investigation into recent Cyprus property sales arrests, raising concerns about the Immovable Property Commission’s role in resolving disputes and safeguarding individuals’ rights in the region. The arrests, which contradict IPC decisions, challenge fair adjudication and stir tensions in the ongoing property disputes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

What is the controversy surrounding Cyprus property sales arrests?

Turkish Cypriot officials at PACE have called for investigation into arrests linked to Cyprus property sales, citing a contradiction between the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) decisions and Republic of Cyprus actions. These arrests challenge the IPC’s role in resolving property disputes, potentially undermining fair adjudication and individuals’ rights in the region.

Rising Tensions in Property Disputes

Turkish Cypriot official at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Oguzhan Hasipoglu, has raised his voice in a call for immediate investigation following a serious incident involving the Republic of Cyprus. His concerns are rooted in the recent arrests connected to the sale of properties in the northern region, which is predominantly owned by Greek Cypriots. During a session of the PACE law and human rights committee, held in Albania, Hasipoglu highlighted an apparent contradiction between the decisions of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and the actions taken by the Republic of Cyprus. The IPC, endorsed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as a legitimate mechanism for resolving property disputes, seems to be disregarded by these legal actions.

The complexity of the situation escalates as the issue of property rights intertwines with political and social implications. Hasipoglu points out the inconsistency of the current stance of the Greek Cypriot administration, which appears to bypass the IPC’s resolutions, potentially impeding the fair and effective adjudication of property claims.

Calls for Clarity and Fair Practice

The criticism extends to Greek Cypriot lawyer Achilleas Demetriades and MP Kostis Efstathiou, who have been vocal about the implementation of ECHR’s decisions yet seem to overlook the practical solutions offered by the IPC. Hasipoglu’s remarks suggest a disconnect between the public discourse on human rights and the actual practices in the region. He stresses the importance of respecting the IPC’s role in domestic law concerning the property issue in Cyprus, emphasizing that the Greek Cypriot administration, recognized by the Council of Europe, should not impose restrictions that contravene people’s freedoms over disputed properties in the north.

Additionally, Hasipoglu pointed to actions by the Greek Cypriot side involving expropriation of Turkish Cypriot properties in the south, actions which he describes as happening without compensation or permission. These activities not only raise legal concerns but also ethical ones, as they affect individuals’ livelihoods and sense of security.

Recent Incidents and Reactions

The conversation around this topic has been fueled by recent arrests, including that of a 49-year-old woman detained at Larnaca airport for allegedly promoting property sales on Greek Cypriot land in the north. High-profile cases have also emerged, such as that of Israeli businessman Simon Mistriel Aykut, accused of developing property worth tens of millions on Greek Cypriot land. These arrests add another layer to the ongoing debate about property rights and legal jurisdiction within Cyprus.

The response from Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar underscores a growing frustration, as he perceives these actions by the Republic as intimidation tactics rather than legitimate legal procedures. Tatar’s appeal for the use of “common sense” reflects the broader call for a balanced approach to handling these sensitive property disputes, which have far-reaching implications for both communities in Cyprus.

The Role of the Immovable Property Commission

Since its establishment in 2005, the Immovable Property Commission has been a cornerstone in addressing the contentious property issues in Cyprus. Recognized by the ECHR, the IPC has processed numerous claims, providing over £446.2 million (€523.7m) in compensation to date. It serves as a critical avenue for restitution and exchange of land, aiming to resolve these disputes in a constructive and just manner. Just this year, Greek Cypriots have been awarded a substantial sum through the IPC’s decisions, including a notable case worth over £11 million.

The stark contrast between the IPC’s approach to conflict resolution and the recent legal measures taken by the Republic of Cyprus highlights the complexity and sensitivity of property disputes in the region. The ongoing dialogue and actions taken by all stakeholders will be crucial in shaping the future of property rights and inter-communal relations in Cyprus.

What is the controversy surrounding Cyprus property sales arrests?

Turkish Cypriot officials at PACE have called for investigation into arrests linked to Cyprus property sales, citing a contradiction between the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) decisions and Republic of Cyprus actions. These arrests challenge the IPC’s role in resolving property disputes, potentially undermining fair adjudication and individuals’ rights in the region.

Why are tensions rising in property disputes in Cyprus?

Tensions are escalating due to recent arrests connected to property sales in the northern region, predominantly owned by Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriot officials at PACE have raised concerns about the Republic of Cyprus bypassing decisions made by the Immovable Property Commission (IPC), recognized by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This has implications for fair adjudication and individuals’ rights in the ongoing property disputes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

What is the role of the Immovable Property Commission in Cyprus?

Established in 2005, the Immovable Property Commission plays a critical role in addressing property issues in Cyprus. Endorsed by the ECHR, the IPC processes claims and provides compensation for restitution and land exchange. It has awarded over £446.2 million (€523.7m) in compensation to date, aiming to resolve property disputes in a just and constructive manner. The recent contrast between IPC decisions and Republic of Cyprus actions underscores the complexity of property disputes in the region.

What recent incidents and reactions have fueled the debate on Cyprus property rights?

Recent incidents include arrests of individuals promoting property sales on Greek Cypriot land in the north, as well as high-profile cases like that of Israeli businessman Simon Mistriel Aykut developing property on Greek Cypriot land. Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has criticized these actions as intimidation tactics, emphasizing the need for a balanced and sensible approach to handling property disputes. The ongoing dialogue among stakeholders will be crucial in shaping the future of property rights and inter-communal relations in Cyprus.

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