PRESS RELEASE (27.11.1997)

aud: LOIZIDOU Art50.Eng



Press release issued by the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights

(Article 50)

Hearing on 27 November 1997

The case of Loizidou v. Turkey was referred to the Court by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus on 9 November 1993.

It originated in an application against the Republic of Turkey lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights in July 1989 by a Cypriot national, Mrs Titina Loizidou, who complained of an alleged interference with her property rights and her right to respect for her home (Article 1 of Protocol No.1 and Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights1 ).


The applicant, who was born in 1949, grew up in Kyrenia in northern Cyprus , where she owned certain plots of land. In 1972 she married and moved with her husband to Nicosia. Since 1974, she has been prevented from gaining access to her properties in northern Cyprus as a result of the
presence of Turkish forces there.


In a judgement of 23 March 1995 (press release no. 138) the Court considered two preliminary objections raised by the Turkish Government. It was contended that the case fell outside the Court's jurisdiction firstly because it related to facts and events that had occurred before 22 January 1990 when Turkey declared that she accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court (ratione temporis) and secondly in that it did not concern matters arising within the territory covered by that declaration (ratione loci). The Court rejected the second objection and joined the first to the merits.

1. The text of the Articles referred to in the release is appended.


In its judgement on the merits delivered on 18 December 1996 (press release no.725) the Court dismissed the Turkish Government's objection ratione temporis (11 votes to 6) and held that the denial to the applicant of access to her property in the northern part of Cyprus and her consequent loss of control of it was imputable to Turkey (11 votes to 6) and amounted to a violation of the applicant's property rights under Protocol No.1 to the Convection (11 votes to 6). It further held unanimously that there had been no interference with the applicant's right to respect for her home under Article 8 of the Convention.

The applicant had made various claims for just satisfaction under Article 50 of the Convention, including for compensation in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and for punitive damages. In its judgment the Court noted that the Turkish Government had not commented in their memorial of these issues, which had moreover not been discussed by those appearing before the Court at its hearing on the merits. In those circumstances and taking into account the exceptional nature of the case, it considered that the question of the application of Article 50 was not ready for decision. The Court accordingly reserved the question, directing that the procedure should be fixed with due regard being had to the possibility of agreement being reached between the Turkish Government and the applicant.

Following an exchange of memorials, including a request by Turkish Government to postpone the proceedings sine die, the Grand Chamber decided on 30 August 1997 to hold a hearing on the issues arising under Article 50 of the Convention.


The hearing will begin today in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg at 3 p.m. The Grant Chamber of the Court will be composed as follows:

Mr R. Ryssdal , President (Norwegian)
Mr R. Bernhardt, (German)
Mr F. Golcuklu, (Turkish)
Mr L.-E.Pettiti, (French)
Mr B. Walsh, (Irish)
Mr A. Spielmann, (Luxemburger)
Mr S.K.Martens, (Dutch)
Mrs E. Palm, (Swedish)
Mr R. Pekkanen, (Finnish)
Mr A.N.Loizou, (Cypriot)
Mr J.M.Morenilla, (Spanish)
Mr A.B.Baka, (Hungarian)
Mr M.A.Lopes Rocha, (Portuguese)
Mr L. Wildhaber, (Swiss)
Mr G. Mifsud Bonnici, (Maltese)
Mr P. Jambrek, (Slovenian)
Mr U. Lohmus, Judges, (Estonian)

and aslo Mr H. Petzold, Registrar, and Mr P.J. Mahoney, Deputy Registrar.


The following persons will appear before the Court:

(a) For the Government of Turkey
Dr R. Turmen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey
to the Council of Europe, Agent,
Mr M. Ozmen, Legal Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Dr D. Akcay, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of Turkey
to the Council of Europe, Co-Agents,
Prof. H. Golsong, Adviser,
Prof. Z. Necatigil, Legal Counsellor,
Mr N. Akinci, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Mr H. Guven, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Counsel;

(b) For the Governemt of Cyprus
Mr A. Markides, Attorney-General, Agent,
Prof. M. Shaw, Barrister, Professor of International Law University of Leicester,
Mr P. Polyviou, Barrister,
Ms P. Polychronidou, Counsel of the Republic A',
Ms S.M. Joannides, Counsel of the Republic A', Counsel,
Dr C. Palley, Consultant to the Attorney-General, Adviser;

(c) For the Commission
Mr S. Trechsel, Delegate,
Mr W. Strasser, Member of the Secretariant;

(d) For the applicant
Mr A. Demetriades, Barrister,
Mr  I. Brownlie, C.B.E., QC,
Ms J. Loizidou, Barrister, Counsel.

After the hearing the Court will begin its deliberations, which are held in private. Judgment will be delivered at a later date.

Subject to his duty of discretion, the Registrar is responsible under the Rules of Court for replying to requests for information concerning the work of the Court, and in particular to enquiries from the press.

Registry of the European Court of Human Rights
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Contact: Mr Roderick LIDDELL
Telephone: (0)3 88 41 24 92 Fax: (0)3 88 41 27 91


Articles referred to in the release

Article 8 of the Convention

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authirity with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 1 of Protocol No.1

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.

The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

Article 50 of the Convention

If the Court finds that a decision or a measure taken by a legal authority or any other authority of a High Contracting Party is completely or partially in conflict with the obligations arising from the ... Convention, and if the internal law of the said Party allows only partial reparation to be made for the consequences of this decision or measure, the decision of the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.