Attorney Cherie Blair lost the Meletis Apostolidis case against the British family Linda and David Orams, who bought a property in Northern Cyprus from a Turkish Cypriot. The property belonged to Meletis Apostolidis, who was forced to leave it after the Turkish invasion of the island. This first in its nature case about Greek properties in Northern Cyprus, gives an opportunity for thousands of Greek Cypriots to take back their properties, which were sold by Turkish Cypriots to citizens of the EU.
Meletis Apostolidis goes to Girne in the Turkish side of the island in 2003, when the first checkpoints open, in order to see his property, which comes out to be bought by the British family Linda and David Orams. The couple had built a luxurious villa with a pool (on the small photo) on a property, which belonged to Apostolidis. Lawyer of the couple is the wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair – Cherie. Based on a decision of the European Court in Luxemburg, if the Orams family refuses to pay compensation to Apostolidis, he has the right to confiscate their properties in Britain. The court had also respected the decision of the Cyprian court for destroying the new house of the Orams family, which was built on Apostolidis’ property and ruled the decision as “applicable” even on the territory of Northern Cyprus.
“The ruling is in accordance with the expectations of Meletis Apostolidis,” said his lawyer Konstadis Kadounas. Apostolidis won the case against the Orams family in the Republic of Cyprus in 2004-2005 but lost it in the British court, which in 2006 rejected the claim against the Orams’. Apostolidis appealed the decision in the Supreme Court in England, which sent an inquiry with 5 questions to the European Court in Luxemburg. With its last ruling, the European Court, to a great extend, predetermines the ruling of the Supreme Court in England.
“The decision of the court in Luxemburg will have negative consequences for the solution of the Cyprian problem and Mehmed Ali Talat will discuss it with all the Parties and some lawyers,” said the Turkish Cypriot’s leader spokesman Hassan Ertzakidja. “The effect of this ruling will be great. In actual fact, every British citizen, who owns a property in Northern Cyprus is facing a legal problem and can expect legal procedures against them. If one more Greek Cypriot makes such a legal complaint, this will have a great effect on the unification efforts of the island,” said James Ker-Lindsay, Cyprian political expert in the London School of Economics.
After the Turkish invasion in Northern Cyprus in 1974, nearly 200 000 Greek Cypriots left their homes and moved to the southern part of the island. In fact, right now, 82% of the properties in Northern Cyprus are owned by Greeks. The Turkish Cypriots have resold a big part of those properties to Western Europeans for a very good price. Over 6 000 British citizens are owners of properties in Northern Cyprus.