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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Greek Cypriots 'can reclaim land'

(BBC) - A European court has backed the right of a Greek Cypriot to reclaim land in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus that has since been sold to a UK couple.

Meletis Apostolides was one of thousands of Greek Cypriots who fled his home when Turkish forces invaded in 1974, following a Greek-inspired coup.

The land was later sold to Linda and David Orams, who built a villa on it.

The European Court of Justice says a ruling in a Cypriot court that the villa must be demolished is applicable.

Even if the ECJ ruling cannot be enacted because the land is under Turkish Cypriot control, it means Mr Apostolides will be able to pursue a claim for compensation in a British court.

It could also open the way for hundreds more Greek Cypriots to demand restitution for properties they were forced to flee.

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