ECJ rules Greek Cypriots have right to reclaim property in northern Cyprus

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday (April 28th) backed the right of Greek Cypriots to reclaim property in northern Cyprus that they abandoned during the 1974 Turkish military intervention. Foreigners later bought the abandoned property.

The court ruled in favour of a Greek Cypriot who sued a British couple for building a holiday home on his former land. The decision upheld an earlier ruling by a court in Nicosia, which ordered the couple to demolish their villa and compensate the former landowner.

An estimated 170,000 Greek Cypriots fled their properties after the Turkish military intervention in the north.

The Greek Cypriot government welcomed the ECJ’s ruling. President Demetris Christofias said it vindicates EU citizens as well as the Greek Cypriots’ positions regarding property in ongoing reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots.

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