No cases of Cypriot interest are included in the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Committee of Ministers, which starts examining on Tuesday the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The representatives of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe will meet between 3 to 5 March 2020, in Strasbourg, to examine a list of cases which concern Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Despite the fact that the “Xenides-Arestis” group of cases, concerning property rights of Cypriot refugees, is not on the meeting’s agenda, lawyer Achilleas Demetriades sent a letter to Strasbourg, repeating, among others, the ineffectiveness of the ‘immovable property commission’ (‘IPC’) operating in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus. For military areas, including the fenced-up area of Famagusta, the ‘IPC’ has no jurisdiction, the lawyer adds.
Moreover, applicants request from the Committee to adopt a fourth interim resolution, after the previous resolutions in 2008, 2010 and 2014, in the hope that Turkey will finally “fulfil its unconditional obligations.”
In relation to “Varnava and Others v. Turkey” which concerns missing persons, applicants note in a separate letter their regret that no relevant decision was taken by the Committee of Ministers since June 2019.
The lawyer also sent a third letter in relation to “Ramon v. Turkey” judgement, which involves a Cypriot refugee who turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to pursue his compensation claim for the loss of use of his property in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, claiming part of the pre-accession funds the EU has earmarked for Turkey. Demetriades requests that the Committee of Ministers adjourns consideration of the case to its June meeting, as the applicant awaits directions from the CJEU and hopes to get a date for a hearing.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. So far, Ankara has not paid damages relating to certain cases concerning missing persons and property claims, awarded by the European Court in Strasbourg to Cypriot applicants, for a number of violations committed in Cyprus during and after the 1974 Turkish invasion.