Cyprus Weekly Article

Shock in north over Orams case

The recommendation of the EU Court’s Advocate General that the landmark Orams case should be decided in favour of Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Apostolides is taking a huge toll on the occupied areas of Cyprus.

According to Turkish Cypriot press reports, the development has caused consternation among foreign nationals who spent their money on Greek Cypriot properties there and placed Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat under increased pressure from his opponents.

Last week, Julianne Kokott said all EU member states had a duty to follow court decisions in the government-controlled part of Cyprus even if they were related to land situated in the occupied north of the island where the application of the European acquis had been suspended.

She was responding to a request by the British Court of Appeal for the Court of Justice of the European Communities to clarify this and other points, following an application by Apostolides to have a Cypriot judgment enforced in the UK against the Orams, a British couple who built on his property.

Hardliner Dervis Eroglu, who returned to the leadership of the National Unity Party as main challenger to Talat, said that Kokott’s recommendation would make all the foreigners sell their “houses and land” in the pseudostate and stop others from buying property.

He warned that such an outcome might have “destructive consequences on the sovereign existence” of the illegal regime and called on Talat and his “government” to assess their stand on the issue. Furthermore, he claimed that the approach by the EU Advocate General would affect the negotiations on the Cyprus problem and offered his party’s support to any effort by Talat to promote the “sovereign equality” of the Turkish Cypriots and the recognition of the pseudostate’s “sovereignty.”

The leader of the Democratic Party Serdar Denktash also offered support, noting that the recommendation presented one of the most serious problems faced by the Turkish Cypriot’s.

His father former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash asked to meet Talat in order to discuss the Orams case, saying that under the circumstances Talat should not discuss the territorial issue with President Christofias.

Talat himself acknowledged the significance of Kokott’s recommendation but noted that the European Court was yet to decide on the referral by the British court and therefore any speculation that could harm the case should be avoided.

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