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Foreign Minister Answers Turkey on Property Case

Markos KyprianouForeign Minister Markos Kyprianou said that he totally disagrees with Turkey's approach to a UK Court of Appeal ruling that Linda and David Orams have to demolish the villa they built on a Greek-Cypriot's land in Turkish-occupied Lapithos.

Yesterday Turkey's foreign ministry said: "this judgement contradicted the parameters of the negotiation process and the nature of the new partnership to be established, constituting a clear example of the Greek Cypriot Administration’s misuse of its unjustly acquired membership to the European Union."

In answer, Kyprianou said: "I totally disagree with the Turkish Foreign Ministry's approach. I do not think this decision will complicate the talks. However, it confirms the legal validity of our proposals and I think this should be accepted by the other side."

He went on to say that the decision is now a legal requirement and that the ministry would closely watch developments.

"Of course what is important to us are the broader implications of this decision...First it is valid throughout Europe and for all European citizens," he said.

He added that Europe has confirmed that the laws of the Republic of Cyprus apply throughout the whole island, irrespective of Turkey's military occuption of the northern third. He said: "this is a reminder to the governments of all foreign countries that what they do should be done with respect to the laws of Cyprus and this of course aplies to the European Commission, which through various regulations to strengthen the Turkish-Cypriot community, is active in the occupied territories," he said.

The court's decision confirmed that only the rightful owner of disputed property should have a say in its development, he said.

David and Linda Orams now have to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling upholding a decision by Nicosia District Court that the villa they built on Meletios Apostolides' land must be demolished and rent plus damages paid to the owner of the land.

Apostolides was forced to abandon his land when Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus in 1974.

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