A Greek Cypriot man who is building a house in Kozanköy (Larnacas Lapithou) where he used to live before 1974, has said he will realise his dream.
Kozanköy which lies south of the Besparmak Mountains and to the west, will have Nicolas Skourides, 78 as a returning former resident, much to the amazement of his new neighbours to be.
Mr. Skourides, 78, has remained dissatisfied by the treatment he had received in the South over the years. He said he made a lot of sacrifices for his country and that he was also part of the EOKA struggle.
“I am not ashamed to say it; I’m a patriot”, he said.
But he says he saw no appreciation from the South Cyprus government and only received 1,000 Cyprus pounds towards building a house when others had been paid much more for repairs and renovations. He also said that he had voted against the Annan Plan in 2004 because he thought it would be unworkable.
“I am in favour of a solution,” he told Politis radio 107.6. “I don’t care what it is as long as it is fair.”
The 78-year-old had applied to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in the North in an attempt to get back his home in Kozanköy (Larnacas Lapithou).
After a long and complicated dispute, the North granted Skourides his property and a title deed to a now vacant plot, as the house he had originally occupied had been demolished.
“So, I decided to build what I dreamt of,” he said.
Mr. Skourides, who currently lives in Agios Dometios (Metehan), said he had been visiting the village since the border crossings opened in 2003. He has met most of the residents, Turkish Cypriots who also speak Greek, who were relocated there from Paphos after the 1974 Turkish military intervention.
Until recently there had been no reactions, he said, “rather, they encouraged me when I told them I had decided to build a house.”
He said he wasn’t sure what the reactions were about since he wasn’t there at the time – people told him it could be because of the elections in Turkey, others said it was because his house would be leaving the person who occupied the plot behind him without access.
Mr. Skourides doesn’t seem to care about the status of North Cyprus, suggesting there was no difference between the two sides.
“No one knew me until now. Now I am getting calls from the media because I am building a house,” he said.