TRNC signals Turkish Cypriots could help pay to resolve property issue
With talks to reunite Cyprus bogged down on the property issue, Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are mulling new ideas that could see northerners help pay compensation on land owned by southerners. Some 80 percent of the immovable properties in the TRNC nominally belong to Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots could assume financial responsibilities for properties they are using that are officially owned by Greek Cypriots, according to TRNC officials. The idea is one of several proposals that Turkey and Turkish Cyprus could present before Greek Cypriots to help solve Cyprus' property problem, one of the most contentious and intractable issues dividing the island, Turkish Cypriot officials told reporters yesterday. A Turkish Cypriot delegation headed by President Dervis Eroglu held talks in Ankara on Monday with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on finding financial resources for the compensation costs of the Turkish Cypriot Immoveable Property Commission. IsBank CEO Ersin Ozince, who also heads the Turkish Banks Association (TBB), also participated in the meeting, at Gul's request. It was decided that the TBB and the property commission should work together to produce alternative financing methods for compensation costs. Taxation or credit opportunities for Turkish Cypriots living on the properties are among the ideas that have been proposed, according to TRNC officials. Another alternative is supplying low-interest credit to Turkish Cypriots who are using Greek Cypriot properties. If the proposal is put into practice, the Turkish Cypriots would be required to contribute to the cost of the compensation.