Eroglu Plans Legal Team in Orams Case
Turkish-Cypriot politician Dervish Eroglu said today that he is planning to put together a team of legal experts to 'deal with the Orams ruling'.
Turkish Cypriots living in the UK were 'anxious' because of the developments in a long-running property case in the northern part of Cyprus, he said. On the 19th of January, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that Linda and David Orams will have to demolish their property in Lapithos in northern Cyprus five years after Greek-Cypriot Meletios Apostolides sued them for building a villa on his usurped land.
The case is not over yet, said Eroglu: “we think that it would help to put together a group of lawyers who would conduct an in depth investigation on this matter. We will meet with friends who have been the Head of Constitutional Court and gave lectures in our universities and make consultations about the situation.”
Eroglu previously said that planning permission would not be given to the Orams to demolish the villa, worth 160,000 sterling. He is hard on the campaign trail ahead of upcoming elections in the Turkish-Cypriot community set to be held on April 18th. Eroglu has declared himself a candidate for 'president' of the unilaterally-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) against incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat. The TRNC is recognised only by Turkey.
The Orams have been ordered to immediately demolish the building, pool and fencing as well as giving back the property to the original owner and paying his legal costs and damages. The landmark ruling has set a precedent that could affect thousands of other holiday home owners in northern Cyprus, and upholds a ruling by the European Court of Justice supporting the original Nicosia District Court decision in 2005. At the time, the Orams refused to comply with the Nicosia court's decision, saying it was not enforceable in northern Cyprus.
Meletios Apostolides then sued the Orams for their property in the UK in 2006 but lost the case when their lawyer Cherie Blair defended them on the grounds that they were not responsible for the political situation in Cyprus. She said that the EU acquis communitaire - in which the decisions of European country courts must be recognised by all other EU27 countries - was suspended in the Turkish-occupied areas.
Apostolides then pursued the case in the European Court of Justice, which upheld Nicosia's ruling that the Orams should demolish the villa they had built on his property. The Orams subsequently appealed the case in the UK, claiming that the ECJ president Vassilios Skouris was Greek and therefore biased.
According to the BBC, Apostolides' lawyer Constantis Candounas said: "This creates a new legal framework in those cases where foreigners are trespassing on such properties."