The EU’s top court has backed the right of a Greek Cypriot to reclaim land in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus that has since been sold to a UK couple.
This was the headline statement as a result of the European Court decision on the Orams case. The headline backs the original court judgment made 4/5 years ago and this judgment was exactly as expected from one EU court, namely in the Republic of Cyprus and the EU’s top court.
The European Court of Justice says a ruling in a Cypriot court that the villa must be demolished, is applicable.
But this subsequent statement is the important one.
Even if the EU ruling cannot be enacted because the land is under Turkish Cypriot control, it means Mr Apostolides will be able to pursue a claim for compensation in a UK court.
This clearly means that he can only claim compensation for the land and there is an EU sponsored “Compensation Claims Board” already set up for this purpose, here in the TRNC. Over 300 claims have been made by Greek Cypriots through this court and these have either been settled by compensation or had land returned to them that was still under government ownership. So the likely outcome of any claim through British courts is to have the action referred back to the Compensation Claims Board.
The court ruling has not said at any time that claims can be made against any property in the UK.
In view of the fact that a number of Greek Cypriots have already made compensation claims points clearly to the fact that all the Orams case has been political posturing of the worst sort.
What everybody should be aware of is the fact that there are many Turkish Cypriots with land and property deeds for many areas in the South of the island. I am reliably advised that some of these people have tried for the last 5 years to get their claims heard in the courts of The Republic of Cyprus, but have been constantly denied access to the courts. Because of the non recognition of the North, these actions can only take place in the South, before being further processed in other EU courts. Clearly Greek Cypriots are using their EU influence to their own advantage and the EU should be made aware of the very worst decision they ever made, to accept the South into the EU after they rejected the Annan plan in the 2004 referendum. Since that date the EU has never kept it’s promises to the TRNC.