Loizidou: so who is right, Iacovou or Tassos?

THE TITINA Loizidou case will be among the issues raised during President Tassos Papadopoulos’ meeting on Tuesday with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in Rome, Foreign Minister George Iacovou said yesterday, contradicting an earlier statement by the President.
“The meeting with Berlusconi is part of the exchange of views on the future European Constitution”, Iacovou said. “Undoubtedly other issues will be raised such as the Cyprus problem and the case of Titina Loizidou.”

But earlier in the day, when questioned about the possibility of raising the Loizidou case with Berlusconi, Papadopoulos told reporters: “I do not believe that the subject occupies the Italian Prime Minister.”

On statements on Friday by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who said Loizidou did not deserve even $100,000 in compensation let alone $1.2 million, the President said that the amount of compensation had been determined by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and that with the stipulated eight per cent interest added it continued to increase.
Denktash said the Loizidou case was being used as pressure on Turkey “for a piece of real estate that is not even worth $100,000, not to mention one million”.

Papadopoulos said the pressure could be easily relieved if Turkey paid up without imposing terms or conditions.

Ankara is currently under scrutiny at the Council of Europe over its failure to pay Loizidou under the terms of the ECHR’s 1998 decision. It has already been given two extensions, the latest on Thursday. If it doesn’t pay up by December 3, the CoE is expected to begin discussions on sanctions against Ankara.

The Turkish Daily News (TDN) said yesterday that the second extension, according to the paper’s sources, came after Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sent letters to the foreign ministers of all CoE member countries, excluding the Cyprus government, and explained in detail the Turkish position on the issue.

In his letter Gul expressed Turkey’s readiness to pay the compensation but stressed that the property and compensation aspect of the Cyprus problem must be part and parcel of a comprehensive settlement, TDN said.

Turkey has long insisted it should not be held responsible for property claims in the north because the ‘TRNC’, recognised only by Ankara, is an “independent state”.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said on Friday that Turkey must comply with the ECHR decision.

”Turkey must comply with the judgment of the European Court. At the same time we support the Dutch Chairman’s efforts to find a solution,” the spokesman told the Cyprus News Agency in London.