Turkey says it will not comply with court order to pay Cyprus compensation

European Court of Human Rights rules that €90m be paid over for Turkey’s invasion of island in 1974

Destroyed and deserted hotels are seen  in the Turkish-occupied area in the abandoned coastal city of Varosha in Famagusta, Cyprus. Photograph: EPA/Katia Christodoulou

Destroyed and deserted hotels are seen in the Turkish-occupied area in the abandoned coastal city of Varosha in Famagusta, Cyprus. Photograph: EPA/Katia Christodoulou

Wed, May 14, 2014, 01:11

Turkey has no plans to pay €90 million to Cyprus as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday. The money was ordered in compensation for Turkey’s invasion of the island 40 years ago.

The Mediterranean island has been split since 1974, when Turkey sent in troops after a brief Greek Cypriot coup staged by supporters of unification with Greece. It comprises a southern Greek Cypriot state, recognised worldwide, and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot entity in the north, recognised only by Ankara.

Mr Davutoglu said Turkey, which is seeking to join the EU of which Cyprus is a member, sees no obligation to pay the compensation to a country it does not formally recognise.

“In terms of the grounds of this ruling, its method and the fact that it is considering a country that Turkey does not recognise as a counter-party, we see no necessity to make this payment,” he said.

“Yesterday’s ECHR ruling consists of some legal contradictions and therefore we don’t see it as at all binding in terms of payment,” he added.

Cyprus brought the case to the Strasbourg-based ECHR 20 years ago, demanding financial compensation over missing Greek Cypriots, the property of displaced people and violations of other human rights.

The ECHR is responsible for adjudication of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory via its membership of the non-EU Council of Europe.

The court ruled largely in Nicosia’s favour in 2001, but took more than a decade to decide on the sum to be paid, a delay Ankara says is aimed at undermining a fresh peace drive on the island.– (Reuters)