Turkey’s Cyprus Compensation Payment Could Open New Cases

The village of Koma Tou Yialou, Cyprus

A potentially landmark case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), could see Turkey liable for millions of euros’ worth of claims originating from the division of Cyprus.

A Greek-Cypriot refugee called Andriani Joannou won a case against Turkey in the ECHR, seeking compensation for property lost in the eastern village of Koma Tou Yialou, now controlled by Turkish-backed northern Cyprus.

Her 2008 claim for the five plots of land was valued at over €2 million ($2.3 million). In a December 2017 ruling, the ECHR said Ankara should pay €7,000 in damages and over €6,300 plus €1,200 in taxes, for costs.

Joannou’s lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades, has now told the Cyprus News Agency that Ankara paid through its membership of the Council of Europe. Demetriades claims this amounts to de facto recognition of the Republic of Cyprus and that it could open the floodgates to millions-of-euros’ worth of other, outstanding property claims.

It is thought to be the first such compensation payment to a Greek Cypriot since 2003.