Ankara hopes Greek Cypriots learn from ECHR recognition of Turkish Cypriot panel
The European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) recognition of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as a valid domestic judicial remedy whose jurisdiction extends to Greek Cypriots is a "historic" decision that must be grasped well, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said over the weekend. Friday's ruling means that from now on Greek Cypriots will not be able to file court cases against Turkey at the European court prior to seeking redress with the IPC and so sets a precedent for approximately 1,500 property cases pending at the European court. The ruling is significant in that for the first time a Turkish Cypriot commission has been recognized by Europe's top human rights court, boosting the international legitimacy of the TRNC. The judgment should play a "facilitating and positive role" in the ongoing UN-led reunification negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the divided island, Davutoglu said. He was speaking to Turkish journalists in Cordoba, where he attended a working dinner with foreign ministers of other European Union candidate countries during an informal half-yearly meeting of EU foreign ministers. "Along with the negotiation process, certain progress had been made on governance issues," he said. "From now on, the ruling will provide a significant advantage towards arriving at a fairer resolution of property issues." Property disputes are considered one of the most difficult issues dividing the island.