Nicosia points to Turkey’s obligations vis-A�-vis missing persons

Nicosia says it will ask the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to draft an interim resolution, outlining the degree of Turkey’s willingness to comply with its obligations towards missing persons if no damages are paid to their relatives until next week.

Ahead of a meeting in Strasbourg, between June 5-7, the Republic of Cyprus also asks Deputies of the 47 member states of the international organization to call upon Turkey to provide immediate and unhindered access to all military zones, as well as information contained in reports and military archives regarding burial sites of missing persons in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Nicosia further asks for concrete positive measures to avert future relocation of remains and calls on Ankara to adopt a genuine and proactive approach while investigating the fate of all missing persons.

Turkey responds to criticism over its failure to pay damages by saying that the relatives of Turkish Cypriot missing persons did not receive any damages from the Greek Cypriot side either.

In a separate memorandum submitted to the Committee of Ministers, Ankara attributes the lack of such claims to technical reasons. The issue is not before the Committee of Ministers because the European Court of Human Rights held in the Varnava and Others versus Turkey case that applications of Turkish Cypriots were lodged too late, says the Turkish memorandum.

Ankara further claims that UN monitoring instruments remind the Greek Cypriot side of its unfulfilled obligation.

In relation to damages ordered by the European Court in favour of Greek Cypriots, Turkey says that there is no new information to report at this stage.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

In its May 2014 decision, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Turkey to pay Euros 30 mln in damages to the relatives of missing persons. Compensation ordered by the Court in respect of the relatives of the nine Greek Cypriot missing persons in the Varnava and Others versus Turkey case has not been paid either.

No question of closing 33 cases of Turkish-occupied properties

In a separate memorandum to Strasbourg, Nicosia says that there is no question of closing 33 of the 35 cases of the Xenides-Arestis group, concerning Greek Cypriot properties in the Turkish-occupied part of the island. According to the Cyprus government Turkey remains in admitted violation of its obligation to pay the just satisfaction ordered by the Court.

Turkey still deprives displaced Greek Cypriots of their right to return to their homes and properties. This has given rise to appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, which has issued major decisions on Turkey’s violations of the European Convention. One of these decisions concerns the Xenides-Arestis group, comprising 35 cases. In two cases, applicants reached a friendly settlement with Turkey over the ownership of their property.

In its memorandum, the government of Cyprus calls inter alia on Deputies to express their grave concern over payment that is due, despite the Committee’s repeated calls for the Turkish authorities to pay the sums awarded by the Court.

It also requests that Deputies resume consideration of Ankara’s compliance with the Court judgment in the Xenides-Arestis group of cases at their September meeting.

Source: Cyprus News Agency