08 December, 2006
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has unanimously awarded a Greek Cypriot refugee 800,000 euros in respect of pecuniary damage for being prevented from living in her home and having access to, using and enjoying her property in the Turkish-occupied eastern town of Famagusta.
The Court also awarded Myra Xenides-Arestis 50,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and 35,000 euros for costs and expenses.
In its judgment in the case Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey (application no. 46347/99), the ECHR says ''the case concerns a Cypriot national who has been prevented from living in her home and having access to, using and enjoying her property since August 1974 following the conduct of military operations in northern Cyprus by Turkey in July and August 1974.''
The Court welcomes ''the steps taken by the Turkish government in an effort to provide redress for the violations of the applicant's Convention rights as well as in respect of all similar applications pending before it.''
It notes that ''the new compensation and restitution mechanism, in principle, had taken care of the requirements of the decision of the Court on admissibility of 14 March 2005 and its judgment of 22December 2005.''
The ECHR was referring to the ''Immovable Property Commission'' set up in 2005 in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus ''to examine applications under the law and decide on the restitution, exchange of properties or payment of compensation.''
The Xenides-Arestis application was lodged with the ECHR on November 4, 1998. A hearing on admissibility took place on September 2, 2004 and the application was declared admissible on March 14, 2005.
In its decision on admissibility the Court found that the remedy proposed under the preceding ''compensation law'' could not be regarded as an ''effective'' or ''adequate'' means for redressing the applicant's complaints.
Source: Athens News Agency