Now the ECHR has decided that Turkey is obliged to pay millions of euros in compensation to 13 Greek Cypriot refugees forced off their properties in 1974.
Turkey should pay between 100,000 to 8,000,000 Euros for each person to cover material and moral damage, and 15,000 Euros for legal expenses.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded after a failed coup attempt to unite the island with Greece. Tens of thousands of Greek-Cypriot refugees were forced to flee south as Turkey seized the island’s northern third, while Turkish Cypriots headed north. Following the death of the Greek Cypriots’ spiritual leader, Archbishop Makarios, in 1977, mutual antagonism became firmly entrenched.
UN-sponsored talks between the Greek Cypriot president, Glafcos Clerides, and the leader of the Turkish-occupied north, Rauf Denktash, collapsed in the 1980s and 90s. The north, only recognised by Turkey, became a mecca for British criminals and Turkish refugees. UN secretary general Kofi Annan presented a reunification plan in 2002, but Greek Cypriots voted against it in 2004.