Thousands of properties and plots owned by Greek-Cypriots who fled 1974 Turkish invasions, now on the occupied side, are being sold off to foreign buyers, led by Russians, Ukrainians, Israelis and Iranians.

Turkish land developers are behind the push, said the Cypriot newspaper Philenews, bringing a construction rush although United Nations resolutions being ignored said properties belong to the original owners.

Most of those being bought and sold through fast track illegal procedures, are Greek-Cypriot owned properties, more than 7,000 over the past couple of years, the report said.

That comes as the hardline nationalist Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, who took power in October 2020, has been reopening portions of the fenced-off resort of Varosha on the occupied side.

Most of the 2,672 ‘licenses’ to acquire plots in the occupied territories in 2022 were granted to Israeli citizens, as Turkish-Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi reported, with 2,000 companies in the occupied territories controlled by Israeli shareholders.

Some 25,000 acres land have been bought through these companies, to a great extent involving farmland in the occupied Karpass peninsula, with Turkish-Cypriot sources reporting 2,000 acres bought in the Lefke area for development.

Land and property sales are also up over the past year in the occupied Kyrenia and Trikomo areas, with attention now focusing on Famagusta, and reports of an impending unlawful settlement there.

Halkin Sesi reported that a new community has been created in occupied Trikomo with apartment blocks, homes and services, such as supermarkets and cafeterias, mostly built in Greek-Cypriot owned farmland and sold to foreign buyers.

Russians are taking a new interest on the occupied side in the wake of sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine that is seeing them restricted on the Greek-Cypriot side that’s a member of the European Union.

More Russians are heading to the isolated side as well over American and British sanctions on oligarchs and Greek-Cypriot firms aiding them as they face no restrictions on the occupied side with Turkey refusing to follow the sanctions.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides was said to have raised the issue of Israelis buying Greek-Cypriot properties during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but it wasn’t reported what happened, if anything.


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