In March 2010, the TRNC Immovable Property Commission achieved legal recognition by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR also issued an accompanying directive that all intending applicants to the ECHR should first 'exhaust all local remedies', namely make an application to the Immovable Property Commission.

This placed many dispossessed Greek Cypriots in a quandary, as the Greek Republic of Cyprus has consistently discouraged the making of applications to the TRNC immovable Property Commission.

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18 October 2010

The Ghost Town of Maras/Varosha

Mr Andreas Lordos, the celebrity Greek Cypriot businessman , allegedly owns significant parcels of land and property in ghost town of Maras/Varosha, which was the holiday playground south of Famagusta abandoned by the Greek Cypriots in 1974. Mr Lordos, who is 83, has taken the view that an application to the TRNC Immovable Property Commission is the best option for him to gain some benefit for the lost land and property during his lifetime.

Andreas Lordos visited the TRNC last week and filed an application to the Immovable Property Commission. Lordos demanded return of his entire immovable property and 115 million Euros as compensation for loss of use. According to reports in the Turkish Cypriot media, this is a “record demand” from the Immovable Property Commission.

In one newspaper report, it is alleged that Mr Lordos said he has five hotels, nine apartments, five shops and one house in the ghost town of Maras/Varosha. He also allegedly disclosed that he had filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which referred him to the Immovable Property Commission. Kibris reports that Lordos' lawyer is Turkish Cypriot Tarik Kadri, who is optimistic that a attractive outcome will be offered to his client by the Immovable Property Commission.


Close up showing the severe dilapidation of one of the properties shown above.

This is an interesting case as the ghost town of Maras/Varosha has been placed in limbo by the TRNC authorities pending an overall solution to the Cyprus Problem. The area is cordoned off and is under the control of the Turkish Army. Due to health and safety considerations alone, it is unlikely that any property will be returned to a dispossessed person. High rise properties, such as those shown in these photographs, will probably be demolished.

Copyright - Leslie Hardy 18 October 2010


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