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New plans to ease Greek Cypriot land sales in the North

10 August 2013

Prime Minister Sibel Siber, (she will be holding the title until a new one is appointed), has announced an important development in the way in which land sale negotiations will be conducted.

She said that in future, owners of hotels and restaurants in the North will be able to agree deals directly with the pre-1974 Greek Cypriot owners, as long as they can fund the deal.

There are roughly 1.5 million donums of property for land in the North that belonged to Greek Cypriots and some 500 thousand donums of Turkish Cypriot land in the South.

Recent headlines said that a deal to sell Jasmine Court to the current Turkish proprietors by its original Greek Cypriot owners for £10 million was in place.

Currently, the only recourse for Greek Cypriots looking to sell their holdings in the North has been through the Immovable Property commission (IPC).

However, Mrs Siber says that this is an expensive and time consuming exercise. Turkey has so far spent TL 400 million compensating Greek Cypriots through the IPC.

From now on individual owners will be able to negotiate directly and agree terms and prices.

This should mean that for the larger transactions, agreement can be reached quickly and effectively.

It also means that Greek Cypriots will be under less pressure from their own government which is trying hard to restrict any such sales. They can avoid the normal route of going through the IPC and conclude deals before they are dissuaded by their government.

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