Contentious property suits

While Nicosia will not try to dissuade Greek Cypriots from tabling lawsuits in the Turkish-occupied north to reclaim lost property, such an approach will severely damage national interests, the government said yesterday. On Thursday, Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he had received applications from «five or six Greek Cypriots who want to settle the issue through compensation.» He was later quoted as saying some of the applicants had been former schoolmates of his. Yesterday, President Tassos Papadopoulos said he would not try to curtail Cypriot citizens’ basic rights by trying to talk them out of such a move. But he added that the act of tabling lawsuits in the occupied north would «severely harm the issue of Cyprus» and effectively lead to the properties in question being written off. Denktash has encouraged such suits in a bid to deter Cypriots from taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.