The head of the TRNC Immovable Property Commission (IPC) Növber Ferit Vehçi has said that there has been an increase recently in the number of applications concerning properties in the fenced-off town of Maraş.
In an interview with the TAK news agency, Vehçi said that there were currently 410 applications pending at the commission rising from 338 since the initiative to reopen the town was first launched.
Pointing out that 1,301 cases out of 6,999 applications have been finalised so far, the IPC president said that the commission so far has ruled in favour of compensation to applicants amounting to a total of £325.657m.
She added that the commission also ruled in favour of the return of three properties, exchange and compensation for two cases, return and compensation for seven properties, the return of one property following a solution to the Cyprus Problem and partial return for another property.
Vehçi reminded that the IPC, just as in the case of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), had no financial obligations.
“We are an authority that takes decisions. We have no authority, initiative or financial responsibility to make out payments. That is completely in the hands of the interested parties,” she said.
Regarding properties in Maraş, the IPC head said that the majority of applicants were requesting the return of their property.
Asked what the conditions or criteria were for returning property to former residents, Vehçi said that a decision to return property was only taken in situations whereby the property in question was not used or granted for the use of anyone.
“In addition the property returned must not pose a threat to national or public security. In other words the property in question must be non-problematic,” she added.
Vehçi said that an applicant who has his/her property returned possessed all rights within the framework of TRNC laws.
“These individuals are free to build, move in or sell the property they have been given back,” she added.
Vehçi also said that they have received no information that such individuals wishing to exercise their property rights in the TRNC were subject to any mistreatment.
Növber Vehçi said that current Turkish Cypriot users of properties belonging to Greek Cypriots were able to contact owners through the IPC and purchase the properties in question.
She added that there have been 24 such applications so far, 12 of which were finalised and eight granted permission for sales.