‘Turkification’ of Greek Property in Northern Cyprus

The ongoing problem in Turkish-occupied Cyprus is the continuous attempt of the Turkish Compensation Commission to usurp Greek-Cypriot property as part of the policy of eradicating the Greek Cypriot heritage in occupied Cyprus.

Property related issues are an important part of the Cyprus problem and were one of the key reasons for the Greek Cypriot rejection of the “Annan Plan” in the 2004 referendum. The former Secretary-General’s “plan” aimed primarily at property exchange and compensation rather than restitution as provided by international law. In occupied Cyprus 82.5% of the privately owned land is owned by Greek Cypriots.

Under regulations adopted by the unrecognized authorities of the occupied areas starting in 1975, the confiscated and expropriated Greek Cypriot properties were redistributed and/or sold to Turkish Cypriots, Turkish mainland settlers, other foreign nationals and business interests leading to an unprecedented construction boom and land sales in occupied Cyprus.

A relevant comparative analysis published on ‘Politis’ newspaper reveals the major damage caused to the owners of the Greek property in Northern Cyprus. According to the analysis, the Turkish Compensation Commission has received many applications of the owners of the Greek property but if the expropriation program of Greek Cypriot properties will be continued, then the capital assets would not be equivalent to the square metres of land.

The extent of Greek Cypriot property in occupied Cyprus is well documented by the Turkish Cypriot press; Up until now land is estimated at 2,1 billion sq. metres.