A draft-law providing for the extension of the term of office for the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) was unanimously approved on Monday by the TRNC Assembly.
Addressing the assembly, Serdar Denktas, deputy prime minister and chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), said that when the current government assumed its duties it found uncompensated cases outstanding since 2013 and that to date, most cases from the 2014-15 period have been completed.
According to Denktas, 81 claimants were compensated in 2013, 73 claimants in 2014, 29 in 2015, 39 in 2016 and 70 claimants in 2017. He argued that the system works slowly because it is complicated and said that in time, it will be seen that the issue cannot be solved and the implementation of the global exchange of property system will become obligatory.
In his speech, Huseyin Angolemli, deputy for the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that the Greek Cypriots, who had been forced to abandon their properties in the north, can apply to the IPC for compensation for their property and wondered where the Turkish Cypriots who abandoned property in the south can apply for compensation.
Addressing the assembly, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that the issue is serious and that its importance was proved with the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights. He argued that one of the most important issues which the assembly, after the forthcoming elections, will have to face, is how the commission will be able to take decisions within a reasonable period of time and how it will secure financing. He noted that if the IPC continues working in the same manner, they will face the danger of the ECHR deciding that the commission does not constitute an effective internal remedy. In such a case, he added, all economic activities will be negatively influenced and problems in tourism, the construction industry and other relevant sectors might arise.
Mehmet Cakici, independent deputy, said that many people are waiting to be granted equivalent property in return for the property they abandoned in the south and argued that there is no just distribution of land in the country. He said that the Turkish Cypriots should be harmonised with the ECHR like Turkey, and that they cannot remain outside international law.