Legal anomalies with the Immovable Property Commission!
Immovable Property Commission was established in 2006 in order to provide an “effective internal legal structure” dealing with the property cases.
Up until the establishment of the Immovable Property Commission (IMC), cases regarding property were filed at the European Courts of Human Rights against Turkey by Greek Cypriot complaints. However, the Commission which was promoted as the best way to handle these applications and diverted the cases to an internal legal structure may lead to unpredicted outcomes for the Turkish Cypriots as legal experts warn about the legal anomalies that can occur as a result of closed cases.
In the cases where a Turkish Cypriot resides in a Greek Cypriot property which was either bought from someone else or the house was given as an “equivalent” to what the Turkish Cypriot owner left in south Cyprus, if the Greek Cypriot owner of the house files an application to the Commission and demands compensation for their house, the Turkish Cypriot who has been given the title deeds of the house by north Cyprus authorities after 1974, is not considered as the third party in the case and may not even know that an application was filed about the property they reside.
On the other hand, according to a former Turkish Cypriot minister who spoke to Beran Dağtaş of Kıbrıs Postası regarding the possible problems that can arise from the functions and operations of the Immovable Property Commission, payment of the compensations was also an issue between Turkish Cypriot and Turkish authorities.
The former minister who wanted to remain unnamed said that in the cases where compensation was paid by banks, banks get the title deeds of the property. “This issue was brought to discussion by Turkish bureaucrats who clearly said that Turkey would not continue to sponsor the Commission for every case” said the former minister who also mentioned about a model which was developed by an American property expert brought to Cyprus by Alexander Downer.
Consortium of Banks
In the model which was developed by an expert brought to the island by Alexander Downer a consortium of banks was suggested as a way to create the budget for the compensations. Another high level official, who also wished to remain unnamed, said that the banks who would take part in this consortium would pay the compensation but in return they would get the title deeds.
Kıbrıs Postası spoke to the manager of Ziraat Bankası Mahmut Demirci regarding his bank’s role in sponsoring the compensations, and what would be the likely scenario in the cases that they would Demirci said “If we pay the compensation for the Greek Cypriot property the title deeds become our banks’. If the current residents of the house would wish to buy the house from out bank we would give them long term loans”. In the light of the accounts of sources, Beran Dağtaş and Vatan Mehmet of Kıbrıs Postası posed to question to the authorities to clarify whether solved cases meant Turkish Cypriots will have to pay for the same house second time.
Another question the report asked was whether or not it was true that Turkish Banks have started to acquire Greek Cypriot properties in north. Almost every legal expert our newspaper spoke to, admits the legal anomalies that are present with the operations of the IMC and how its law contradicts with “TRNC’s constitution”. Kıbrıs Postası will follow the developments regarding the issue and will also speak to other authorities involved with a hope to find more answers.