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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: Turkey Repeat-Offender in DisRespect of ECHR Judgements on Cyprus' Refugees + Missing People

CoE: Turkey Repeat-Offender in DisRespect of ECHR Judgements on Cyprus' Refugees + Missing People

Written by ACM
Thursday, 06 December 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- For the 2nd Time in an Exceptional Row, CoE's Highest Political body, that of its 47 Member States' strong (including Russia) Committee of Ministers, slamed anew Turkey's Persisting Refusal to Cooperate on monitoring the execution of ECHR Judgements, which have notoriously Condemned Ankara for a series of Massive and Continuing Violations of Human Rights of Greek-Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons and even "Missing" People and their Families, since the 1974 Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of EU Member Cyprus, (See, already : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeuyrefusescooperationwithcoe.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoereactonturkeyrefusaltocooperate.html , etc).


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    Turkey not only Refused to Participate in CoE's relevant Discussions (Extending now on December 2018 the Negative Stance that it Adopted since last September), and did Not Cooperate with its Committee of Ministers in its Task to supervise ECHR's Judgments' Execution, but even Persisted to its Long Abstention from Paying the Just Satisfaction awarded by the European Court to the Victims, in more than 30 Cases of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons, and in the landmark "Varnavas" Case of 9 "Missing" People, (at least 2 of whom had been found "Detained at the Time of their Disappearance", as CoE reminded), as well as on the cases of Homes and other private Properties of "Enclaved" Greek Cypriots inside the Occupied Territories Controlled by Ankara's Army, who are included in the overall, Inter-State Case of "Cyprus v. Turkey" (which concerns almost All Violations of Human Rights committed by Ankara in Cyprus).

    => According to the Officially Published CoE's Decisions, the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, expressed its "Deep Regret" anew for "the decision of Turkey Not to Participate in the Discussions" of CoE's Committee of Ministers on all these affairs, 'and called, once again, on Turkey to Co‑operate with the Committee", while Also "Insist(ing) again Firmly on the ...Obligation of Turkey to Pay the just satisfaction Awarded by the European Court" in those cases, "withOut further Delay".


    + For that purpose, CoE also Decided "to Resume Consideration" on the issues of Greek Cypriot "Missing" Persons (Both on Compensations and Investigations for their Fate), and Refugees/Displaced persons (Compensations), the Earliest possible :  I.e. at its Next Meeting for Human Rights, on "March 2019".


    This will be Closely Followed by CoE's Examination of "Individual Measures" that Turkey has to take in the 33 Cases of GC Refugees/Displaced persons, as well as on the "Information" that "certain (COE Member States' National) Delegations requested" concerning "the Situation of the ... Property" of the Refugee/Displaced person in "Loizidou case" (that Turkey curiously seeks to ..."Close", withOut even Replying to Questions ! See Infra), on "June 2019".


    Further, "the Issue of the Property Rights of the Enclaved persons", in the Inter-State case "Cyprus v. Turkey"), will be resumed on "September 2019".


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    Significantly, this important Meeting, which durated during 3 Days  (November 4 to 6, 2018) , was Chaired by French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste  Mattei, (according to an established practice), just a few Months before France takes over CoE's rotating Presidency, from May to November 2019.


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    Cyprus Denounced the fact that, at least in the well-known Refugee/Displaced persons' "Case of Xenides-Arestis", "almost 12 Years (sic !) have Elapsed since Just Satisfaction fell Due", i.e. Turkey's Refusal to Pay the Compensation judged by ECHR, resulted in "the Longest Default in the History of the (European) Convention system" !...


    + Moreover, Cypus had "Urged" the CoE to "Resist" to Turkey's "Blackmail", which is notoriously Seeking mainly a ..."Closure" of the Most Famous, "Loizidou" case, among Refugees/Displaced persons(added even to 2 Other such cases), Threatening, Otherwise, to Persist even Longer in its Refusal to Participate at CoE's Deliberations in all those other affairs (Comp. Supra). But, such "Closure(s)", Paradoxicaly, ..."would Reward Turkey for its Non-Payment, and, in particular, for its Non-Cooperaton with (CoE's) Committee" of Ministers, and "it would be utterly Wrong to End (CoE's) Supervision, in circumstances where Turkey Seeks to make Closure a Condition for its future Cooperation".


   Simply Because,


-  in Addition to the Fact that there are still Many pertinent UnAnswered "Question"s in this Case (Loizidou, etc), some Already Raised also by Other National Delegations, (See Infra),


+ + "FurtherMore",,Otherwise, a "Closure" of the remaining Loizidou affair and/or Other 2 Cases singled out by Ankara, "would send a most Unfortunate Signal to any Other State that might, in Future, contemplate embarking upon a Similar Policy of Non-Cooperation, in order to Pressurise the (CoE's) Committee into Favouring its point of view", so that "Undermining the work of (CoE's) Committee" Risks  to become "a Practice that is Tolerated, and, in fact, bears fruit", Cyprus Warned.


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    As for the still UnAnswered Questions in the Landmark "Loizidou" case, they are related with the most Fundamental Human Rights' Key-Issue in Refugees/Displaced persons cases, both in Europe and Worldwide :


    - That for "RESTITUTION" of the Victims' Family Homes and/or other Private Properties, as Preferable to mere Financial Compensation, since it Helps much More (and Often is really Necessary, in Practice) for their voluntary RETURN to their Ancestral Land, (as it's Stressed even by UNO's most Important Report and Guiding "Principles", drafted by Professor Pinheiro, and Endorsed by UNHCR, UNHCHR and UNO's Secretary General, at nearby Geneva : Comp., f.ex.  ...). Cyprus' Government also finds these Questions "Vitally Important".


    Indeed, Turkey Refused any "Restitution" of Miss Loizidou's properties (as for Most Other Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons) in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, controlled by Ankara's Military, by Claiming that this would have become "ImPossible", mainly because they would have been "Transferred" to so-called "Turkish Cypriot Refugees", (in fact, People who had freely Left the Non-Occupied, but Government-controlled, Areas, leaving their belongings "by way of Exchange"), and, Afterwards, her Properties would have undergone so "considerable Changes", that these would "Prevent the ....Restitution", (Even ... "After the Solution of Cyprus' [Political] Problem" !)... Thus, Turkey reportedly offered to the Greek Cypriot Refugee/IDP, Only a mere Financial Compensation, which, in addition, appeared too much Lower than what had been previously attributed by ECHR (See Infra)...


    => But, this Raised a series of Questions, which have Not yet been Answered by the Turkish side, as Cyprus observed :


    (1) Where is the EVIDENCE that those alleged Turkish Cypriots would have left the Government-controlled Areas, leaving behind their Belongings for exchange, and to whom would have been Transferred the properties of Greek Cypriot Refugee Loizidou, in the Territories of Cyprus still Occupied by Ankara's Militay ? No Reply yet...


    (2) WHEN were reportedly Transferred to those Turkish Cypriots the above-mentioned Properties of that Greek Cypriot Refugee/IDP ? Before, or After ECHR's JUDGEMENT of 1996, which, notoriously, "Confirmed" that she Remained the Lawful Owner ?


    (3) Which are the alleged "CHANGES" that Turkey Claims on the Greek Cypriot Refugee/IDP's properties ? On the Contrary, at least "Some of that Property" seems to be "EMPTY and UnDeveloped", therefore, "so, in principle, Available for Restitution", Cyprus observed...


    (4) Why was the Turkish Offer (for Finanial Compensation) so LOW ? Cyprus calculated, indeed, that they would have "Valued the use of the Property at barely HALF the rate awarded by the ECHR" for a previous period...


+ Moreover, Significantly,  the Chair of a Controversial "Immovable Property Commission" unilaterally set up by the Turkish side in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, controlled by Ankara's Invasion and Occupation Military, claiming to give there a Monopoly in Dealing with Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons' Rights, Quoted in a Press Article ("Diyalog", 24/3/2018), has reportedly stated that, inter alia, also that "....the More LAND is TURKIFIED, the Right of the Greek Cypriot side to demand Land in the North will be Abolished" (sic !)...

=> In Consequence, it "would be Manifestly UnJust" to "Close the Case", while "Turkey is (still) under an Obligation to provide Answers to these Questions, so that the (CoE's) Committee may be in a position to take a fully Informed Decision on that matter", instead of "resolv(ing) those UnCertainties withOut Evidence", Cyprus concluded.


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On the Contrary, it's Only in 2 Other Cases, among those 33 ECHR Judgements still Pending for Execution, in various Individual Affairs of Refugees/Displaced persons, that "Friendly Agreements" were reached between the Appliquants and Turkey, after the First "Surrendered ...the Ownership of their Properties", and "Turkey has Complied with the terms of those Arrangements", the Government of Cyprus pointed out, apparently Concluding that these 2 Individual cases, may be, Exceptionally, Closed.


Something which, Obviously, isn't but a Tiny part among More than +180.000 - 200.000  Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, who were Obliged to Flee Turkey's Military Invasion and Ocupation of the Northern Territories of Cyprus by Ankara's Army since 1974, and are Still Hindered Today to Return Back to Family Homes and Ancestral Land.

A Few Years Ago, around 2016, UN-sponsored Top Level Talks on Cyprus, mainly at nearby Switzerland, reportedly had managed to Mark an exceptional Advance, including, partiçularly, on an eventual Draft Plan with Map for Refugees/Displaced persons' possible Return, which was, exchanged for the 1st Time between the parties.


But, shortly Afterwards, all that was Blocked mainly because Ankara's Instisted to Keep, not only a Number of Troops in Cyprus, even After a Political Solution, but even a Claim for more Unilateral Military Interventions, whenever, in the Future, Turkey might deem necessary.

(Something that, on the Contrary, Both Greece and the UK, accepted to Stop, as Cyprus naturally wished to Prevent Other Tragedies, as in the Past, by Building, this Time, a "Normal, Independent and Sovereign State", that New UNO Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, reportedly found Natural).


Following that, Later-on, the Turkish-Cypriot side even, reportedly, Asked and Withdrew the Map that had been Earlier exchanged and agreed, (Comp. Supra)...


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Meanwhile, this week, Both COE's Secretariat and Cyprus' Government, reminded the Fact that, Already 4 Years Ago, since 2014, CoE's Committee of Ministers, (facing Turkey's Failure to Pay, at least, the Compensations awarded by ECHR's Judgements to several Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons), had adopted 2 Resolutions Warning Ankara that its Continued Refusal to Pay that Just Satisfaction awarded by ECHR to the Victims of the "Varnavas" Case ("Missing" Persons and their Families), as well as to 33 Cases of Refugees/Displaced persons in the so-called "Xenides -Arestis Group", was in Flagrand Conflict with its International Obligaions, Not Only as a Contracting Party to the PanEuropean Conention on Human Rights, but Also as a CoE's Member State...


=> Obviously, the Double Supplementary Fact that such a Problem (of Refusal to Pay ECHR-awarded Compensations to the Victims) still Persists for Turkey, even on 2018, to which was Recently Added even an UnPrecedented Refusal to Cooperate with CoE for the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, (Comp. Supra), makes Ankara's position inside the CoE, even More Problematic...

It's in such a particularly "Hot" Context, f.ex. that an Exasperated Appliquant Refugee/IDP, who had already Waited ... 13 Years (between 1997 and 2010) for an ECHR Judgement Condemning Turkey for Violating his Human Rights, later Added to anOther + 8 Years More (2010 - 2018+), withOut any Payment, until now, by Ankara of the Just Satisfaction ordered by the ECHR, (=> thus Resulting in ... 21 Years of Delay : 1997 - 2018 !), suddenly erupted :


- CoE's Committee of Ministers  should "Go Beyond Literary Decisions, that are Repeatedly Ignored" by Turkey,  "and take Practical Measures to EnForce and achieve Execution of the ... ECtHR Judgement", he suggested in a Letter send to Strasbourg :


=> "To this end", f.ex., CoE should "Issue a Final Warning" to Turkey, "to Immediately Execute the Judgement on Just Satisfaction, (issued 8 Years Ago), since Failure to Execute the Judgement would indicate that :


"1. Turkey Continuously Breaches, and does Not fully Implement the European Convention on Human Rights, and, Consequently, does Not Meet anymore the Copenhagen eligibility Criteria (needed in order) to Be Candidate for Accession to the EU",


"2. there is ground for a process for Expulsion of Turkey from the CoE, due to Violating its Statutes".


+° Also, if" Turkey "Fails Again to Implement the Judgment", CoE's "Committee of Ministers" could "Initiate a Process leading into Confiscating Assets/Holdings" of Ankara "in a European Country; ( e.g. France, where both ECtHR and CoE are Based), for Payment of the above", he finally suggested...


It's a Scandalous Fact that, meanwhile, several Victims of Human Rights' Violations by Turkey in Cyprus have already Started to ...Die, Passing Away in Old Age, while vainly Waitibng for Ankara to Implement ECHR's Judgements, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyblocksechrjudgementswhilevictimsdie.html, etc).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Former long-time President of ECHR, Luzius Wildhaber, from Switzerland, was the 1st to ask sincere "Excuses", for the Death of an Old Woman Refugee, who disappeared withOut even seeing an ECHR Judgement implemented in her case, after Waiting for Decades : - "This is Not Normal, and Must Not Happen again !", President Wildhaber had said then, sincerely moved, in Reply to a Question by "Eurofora"s co-Founder, (Published then at "TCWeekly").

 

(../..)


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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

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Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
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Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
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Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian
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This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.

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"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?

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"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.

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(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 

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Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.

***

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Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...

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