A decision by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to end the supervision of a 1996 European Court judgement concerning her property in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus has “political ramifications”, applicant Titina Loizidou told CNA.
Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot applicant sought to enforce the ECHR judgment concerning the restitution and peaceful enjoyment of her property in Turkish-occupied Kyrenia, in the northern coast of Cyprus. Turkey attempted several times in the past to close the supervision of the case in Strasbourg, where the Committee of Ministers holds its sessions.
“It is a decision that I believe has political ramifications. The Committee of Ministers has the obligation to safeguard the execution of the decisions of the Court of Human Rights”, she noted, adding that the Committee had a leeway in implementing the decision for the restitution of her property since 2005. “Over time, various other parameters were added which resulted in today’s decision”, said Loizidou.
However, she noted that she does not consider the matter closed “because there is another parameter in my case.”
According to the applicant, the decision has been implemented only in relation to one part, which concerns the compensation for the time she was unable to use the property, while the issue concerning the restitution of her property through the Committee of Ministers is pending, with the body being responsible and under the obligation to safeguard the execution of the relevant decisions.
“In relation to this part of the decision, following many years of discussion, the Committee of Ministers chose to close the supervision of the case because, it says, there is the remedy of the ‘immovable property commission’ in the Turkish-occupied areas” of Cyprus, she went on.
However, there are two pending ECHR decisions regarding the effectiveness of the ‘immovable property commission’ Loizidou remarked. “One of the arguments was that this commission, in various procedural points, is insufficient and ineffective. This issue is very important and should have been taken into account by the Committee of Ministers when deciding to close the supervision of my case”, she noted.
In addition, Loizidou said the Committee of Ministers had several weaknesses when it comes to implementing the Court’s decisions and expressed hope that “this system improves in the future.”
As for her next steps, she said that it’s too early to decide how she is going to handle her case at this stage. She added that “it’s been a very tough struggle so far” and thanked the Cyprus government for all its efforts over the years.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The European Court of Human Rights sentenced Turkey in numerous cases, brought forward by Greek Cypriots, concerning the violation of their fundamental human rights, following the 1974 invasion.