President Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu has said that property rights under negotiation in the Cyprus talks, will cover not only dispossessed owners but in particular, current occupiers of those properties.
Earlier this week, both presidents agreed on the formation of an independent bi-communal property commission.
Speaking on Bayrak radio, Burcu said that is was essential to find a solution that is fair.
“It is important that not only the original owners of properties, but also the current users, benefit from this arrangement. For us, it is on this point that discussions must focus,” he said.
Affected properties would be categorised. The property commission would be mandated to resolve property claims according to mutually agreed criteria, and would be comprised of an equal number of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members. Burcu said equal representation ensured that neither side imposes its will on the other.
UN Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide told the press earlier this week, that both dispossessed owners and current occupants of those properties would have a variety of options regarding their claims. The choices would include compensation, exchange and reinstatement, but exercising any of these options would be subject to agreed criteria.
Burcu commended the progress achieved so far on the property issue, but said that the two sides, after agreeing the broad guidelines, must now get into specifics.
It’s understood the new commission will commence operating once a settlement has been reached, that is, during implementation of reunification. However, the criteria relating to property claims are to be worked out during the current stage, prior to any referenda.