Revitalising the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) could be a game changer, writes journalist Barcin Yinanc in Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’.
While the Cyprus negotiations were in full flow last year, the activities of the IPC halted as it had run out of funds and territorial adjustments were on the agenda.
However, since the talks ended in deadlock at Crans-Montana, Switzerland, the IPC came under the spotlight again. At the end of November 2017, the TRNC parliament renewed the IPC’s tenure for a further two years. Funding was another issue though. There are around 6,000 claims outstanding with the IPC. Turkey is no longer willing to foot the bill for property compensation and has withheld all further funding. Instead it suggested a local property tax on Greek Cypriot properties in the North. An unpopular suggestion, as are all taxes.
Like a fresh breeze, the new four-party coalition has promised sweeping changes to end corruption in government, to improve health and safety in the workplace and review the handing out of citizenships by the former Cabinet. In the same vein, the new government, when it introduced its programme of reforms to parliament on Friday, said that a new and reasonable financing model would be introduced to support the IPC and to ensure that it fulfilled its function within EU parameters.
Yinanc points out that a fully functioning IPC would undermine incentives for the Greek Cypriots to demand the return of Guzelyurt (Morphou), if its former occupants have already been compensated for loss of land and property. Funding the IPC would be a game changer, she writes.
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