Turkey ordered to pay Cyprus €90m for 1974 invasion

The European Court of Human Rights said Turkey still owed money to residents affected by conflict

Turkey has been ordered to pay Cyprus €90 million (£73.3 million) in compensation for its 1974 invasion of the island.

In its largest ever judgement, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said the passing of almost 40 years did not erase Turkey's responsibility for the ensuing conflict and continuing division of Cyprus.

The court ruled that the Turkish government must pay €30 million in damages to relatives of those missing in military operations and €60 million for “the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents" of the Karpas peninsula.”

The Karpas peninsula in the northernmost tip of the breakaway Turkish part of the island is still home to hundreds of Greek Cypriots.

Only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus that was proclaimed there.

Cyprus was divided by the 'green line' after the invasion Cyprus was divided by the 'green line' after the invasion Turkish forces were accused of ethnic cleansing after thousands of Greek residents were forced from their homes and replaced with Turks from the mainland.

Atrocities and massacres were alleged by both sides and more than 100,000 people became refugees during the invasion.

The invasion was sparked by a Greek military coup in July 1974, when supporters of union with the country took control.

The Greek military Junta collapsed and there was a second invasion by Turkey taking more than a third of Cyprus in August.

In Turkey, the events are often referred to as the "Cyprus Peace Operation".

Monday's judgment comes as the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities are making a new effort to reunite the island.

Speaking ahead of the ruling, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that a judgment against Turkey would come at a delicate time and said that he viewed it as “neither binding nor of any value".

“Not only is it legally problematic, its timing is wrong,” Davutoglu added.

The court said it would be up to the government of Cyprus to determine how to award the damages but Turkey has not always complied with the court's rulings.

In a 1998 ruling, the Strasbourg court ordered Turkey to pay Titina Loizidou compensation for depriving her of property in the seaside city of Kyrenia.

It was the first case in which a Greek Cypriot successfully sued Turkey over the invasion and earned the right to compensation.

Turkey paid the money in 2003 but has yet to comply with an earlier European Court decision ordering Ankara to allow the woman to reclaim her property.

Analysts noted that the case was notable not only because of its size, but also because it took Turkey to task for the invasion and awarded the money to Cyprus on behalf of individuals, a sensitive point that could affect current reunification talks.

“The big question is how the decision will affect the negotiations that are the most promising ever. It could put the talks into difficulty,” said Cengiz Aktar, an analyst on Turkey-EU affairs at the Istanbul Policy Centre.

Achilleas Demetriades, a prominent human rights lawyer in Cyprus, who has won several cases in the European Court involving Turkey, said that the judgment pertains to Turkey's failure to carry out an effective investigation of the whereabouts of Greek Cypriots who disappeared during and after the invasion of the island, and to provide that information to relatives of the missing.

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower