Property Compensation in North Rises to 58 mln
The Immovable Property Commission run by a board of Turkish-Cypriot lawyers has paid out 58.4 million euros to 788 applicants in compensation to usurped property owners of territory in the Turkish-held north of Cyprus.
130 of the 788 applications have been 'concluded through friendly settlements,' said the IPC in its latest statement. The IPC has 'ruled for exchange and compensation in two cases, for restitution in one case and for restitution and compensation in five cases,' it said.
Restitution is defined as damages paid out to the claimant based on unjust profit or enrichment. Compensation is based on losses to the claimant.
In March 2010, the IPC was backed by the European Court of Human Rights as a legal local remedy where usurped property owners could seek compensation.
The ECHR's decision "did not put in doubt the fact that the government of the Republic of Cyprus remained the sole legitimate government of Cyprus," said the court in its decision. However, the government has called on property owners to 'ignore' the IPC.
Property problems will not be solved through mass lawsuits, said President Demetris Christofias in March following the ECHR's decision. He said that the IPC may provide compensation for usurped and abandoned property, but at lower values than the property is worth.
But it is the people's right to go to court and sue for compensation, he said.