November 23, 2017

Panel of judges of European Court of Human Rights concluded the fourth interstate application of Cyprus against Turkey

A hearing on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 at the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe in a case of human rights violations in Cyprus by Turkey concluded the legal proceedings of the fourth inter-state application the Republic of Cyprus has filed against Turkey.

The hearing took place without Turkey’s presence. Ankara did not give the Court any reason for its absence and the 19-panel of judges, including Court President Luzius Wildhaber, considered there was no reason to adjourn the hearing.

Mr. Alecos Markides, the Republic’s Attorney General who leads the team of legal experts dealing with the application, told Cyprus News Agency (CNA) from Strasbourg that “The Court heard our positions and we presented our arguments on all chapters of this case. The Court reserved its judgment for a later date”.

The chapters relate to the issue of missing persons in Cyprus, the rights to property of displaced Greek Cypriots, the living conditions of enclaved Greek Cypriots in Turkish occupied Cyprus and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in occupied Cyprus violated by Turkey.

Replying to questions, Mr. Markides, the government’s top legal adviser, also said the Court “has a lot of material before it to study before it issues its ruling on the case”, which is binding. “Turkey’s representatives did not appear at today’s hearing, nor did they offer any reason for their absence. The panel of judges however considered there was no reason to postpone the hearing, which concluded the fourth interstate application”, he added.

Mr. Markides said there were no questions asked at the hearing and the Court reserved its judgment. Last year, the European Commission for Human Rights, which had heard the arguments of both sides, said in its report on the case that Turkey is responsible for gross human rights violations of missing persons and their relatives, of displaced persons and of enclaved Greek Cypriots living in Turkish occupied areas. The report describes the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus as a local administration subordinate to Turkey and reaffirms that the Republic of Cyprus is the only recognized state on the island.