Turkey has finally paid Mrs. Titina Loizidou, a Greek-Cypriot refugee
from the occupied town Kyrenia Cyprus the amount of 1.100.000 CY pounds ($2.310.000 USD) for
Turkish crimes and violations of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
after a Ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

Turkey has complied only with one of the limbs of the decision of Loizidou v. Turkey (1997) 23 E.H.R.R. 513 ECHR in which Turkey is also obliged to allow Mrs. Titina Loizidou free access to her lawful property in the occupied areas of Cyprus. So far Turkey has paid Mrs. Titina Loizidou the amount of 1.1 million CY pounds which equates to approximately 2.31 million US dollars for not allowing her to visit, and rightfully enjoy her home in occupied town of Kyrenia in occupied Cyprus.

Moreover, the ruling of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Loizidou v. Turkey (1998) has set a legal precedent for the payment of reparations by Turkey to the Republic of Cyprus and the victims of its policy of destruction and ethnic cleansing. The ECHR ruling in the case of Cyprus vs. Turkey (2001) indicates that not only were the rights of Ms Loizidou violated, but also those of every one of the 200,000 refugees who also have the right to enjoy just satisfaction of their properties in the occupied areas.

By a vote of 15-2 Turkey was ordered by the ECHR to pay Titina Loizidou (a Greek-Cypriot refugee from the Turkish occupied town of Kyrenia) pecuniary damages of 300,000 Cyprus pounds to compensate her for what she could have earned on her properties between 1989-1997, and a further 20,000 Cyprus pounds non-pecuniary damages for the denial of access to her properties and the loss of just satisfaction.

On the basis of the Loizidou ruling, Turkey will have to compensate every displaced Greek-Cypriot non-pecuniary damages for every year of its illegal occupation. From 1974 to 2003 this would total at least 15,500,000,000 (15.5 billion) Cyprus pounds. (CY 1 pound = US $2.1USD)

If the economic value of the properties is also assessed in the same way then every property owner will be entitled to pecuniary damages averaging about 37,500 Cyprus pounds to compensate them for what they could have earned on their properties for each year of the occupation. For 200,000 land owners, businessmen and farmers this could add up to at least 202,500,000,000 (202.5 billion) Cyprus pounds.

On top of this Turkey will also have to compensate the refugees for the restoration of the damage it has caused to their properties, averaging about 20,000 Cyprus pounds per refugee or 4,000,000,000 (4 billion) Cyprus pounds.

Thousands of priceless Greek Orthodox Byzantine icons and centuries-old holy objects, including holy relics, manuscripts, have been stolen and destroyed, while others sold on the black market; many irreplaceable Byzantine Greek Orthodox mosaics were ripped from the walls and floors of church building to suffer the same fate. Churches and their out-buildings have been turned into sheep pens, brothels and public latrines, as well as hotels and tourist complex's resulting in the utter annihilation of Cyprus religious and cultural heritage.

Turkey will also have to pay reparations for the restoration of Cyprus' Greek Orthodox churches, icons and mosaics. A conservative estimate would put the cost of this at approximately 40,000,000 (40 million) Cyprus pounds for every Greek Orthodox Church, totaling 20,000,000,000 (20 billion) Cyprus pounds.

On May 1, 2004, Cyprus shall become the official member of the European Union. Cyprus, as a culturally, politically and historically vibrant member of Europe looks forward to a peaceful resolution, the departure of the Turkish armed forces and the illegal Turkish settlers and a unified country for all Cypriots.

However, Turkey must be held accountable for the wrong it committed on the Cypriot people. It must decide whether it wants to follow and comply with international law along with the rest of the free world or face isolation. It should not expect to be rewarded for its crimes against Cyprus' heritage, culture and the livelihood of Cypriot people. Turkey has to pay for the harm it inflicted upon the Greek Cypriots and the unjust taking of their properties. If Turkey has any hopes of ever becoming a European Union member it has to uphold the democratic values shared by all free-loving people. Turkey's human rights violations will no longer be tolerated!

A series of UN General Assembly Resolutions and Security Council Resolutions, as well as resolutions adopted by numerous other international organizations, condemned the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, demanded the return of the refugees to their homes in safety, the tracing of the missing persons, and called for respect of the human rights of all Cypriots.
 

Prepared by: Christos A. Neophytou