CoE asked to exert pressure on Ankara
Cypriot applicants who appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have called on the Council of Europe to exert pressure on Turkey in order to implement the court's decisions on issues related to occupied properties and missing persons in Cyprus.
The call is included in a number of letters from the applicants' lawyers, in view of the forthcoming meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) on December 8-10.
The lawyers point out Turkey's refusal to comply with the ECHR judgments and asks the CoE to take additional measures so that the damages are finally paid to the applicants.
The letters call on the 47 Ministers of the member states to increase political pressure on Turkey and they suggest that Turkey's accession chapters in its European course remain closed.
Specifically, in two letters published on the website of the CoE last week, lawyer Achilleas Demetriades repeats his suggestion to the Committee of Ministers to recommend the freezing of at least one chapter in Turkey's accession course (Chapter 23 on Justice and Fundamental Rights) as long as Turkey does not implement the ECHR decisions on Cyprus.
Moreover lawyer Kypros Chrysostomides in a letter to the CoE refers in detail to the amounts awarded in each of the cases he represented pointing out that the settlement on behalf of Turkey is still pending.
The ECHR had accused Turkey of continuously denying owners access to their property in the northern part of Cyprus, as well as of the consequent loss of control. Moreover, it found Ankara was violating the right to respect the applicants' homes in some cases.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks, aiming at reuniting the island under a federal roof, resumed on May 15, this year.