The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has exhorted the Turkish authorities to abide by their international obligations and pay the “just satisfaction” awarded by the European Court of Human Rights to relatives of nine Greek Cypriots who disappeared during Turkey’s military invasion to Cyprus in 1974, a press release by the CoE says.

In September 2009, the European Court found Turkey to have violated the European Convention on Human Rights due to the failure of the Turkish authorities to conduct effective investigations into the fate of the people involved and the inhuman treatment of their relatives.

The Court ruled that Turkey was to pay a total of 108,000 euros in damages and 72,000 euros in costs and expenses to the relatives by 18 December 2009.

In an Interim Resolution adopted this week, the Committee of Ministers expressed profound concern that prolonged delays in paying the just satisfaction not only deprive the victims from receiving compensation but is also in flagrant disrespect of Turkey’s international obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Committee decided to resume its consideration of this case, together with the related Cyprus v. Turkey interstate case, at its March 2023 meeting to supervise the execution of ECHR judgments.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

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