Turkey will not pay compensation to Greek Cypriots: FM

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday the country's does not need to pay any compensation to Greek Cypriots for Ankara's 1974 peace mission in Cyprus

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday the country's does not need to pay any compensation to Greek Cypriots for Ankara's 1974 peace mission in Cyprus

ANKARA - Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday the country's does not need to pay any compensation to Greek Cypriots for Ankara's 1974 peace mission in Cyprus, despite European Court of Human Rights order Monday. 

"The court cannot impose a penalty on Turkey over a country that we do not recognize," said Davutoglu, answering journalists' questions in a joint press conference with his Liberian counterpart Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan in the foreign ministry headquarters after their bilateral meeting.

The European Court of Human Rights has found Turkey guilty of violating European human rights agreements during and after Turkey's peace operation in the island in 1974.

The court ruled that Turkey should pay €30 million in compensation to families of people who went missing during the mission, and a further €60 million to Greek Cypriots on the Karpaz peninsula.

"The court's decision is based upon the 1,492 missing Cypriots but lots of them are not even in the missing list," said Davutoglu. "Therefore, the order's basis is not clear at all."

Davutoglu also said if the Human Rights Court have taken a decision about the missing Greek Cypriots, then the court should take a decision about missing Turkish Cypriots as well.

The foreign minister also said that the ruling is a "big blow" to the peace talks between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots which have resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the euro zone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriot administration’s assumption of the EU presidency in 2012.

The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.

Davutoglu also evaluated U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the Karpaz peninsula as an important step, as long as both sides will be treated equally.

Meanwhile, before the press conference, Liberian Foreign Minister Ngafuan and Davutoglu signed memorandum of understanding on abolishing visa procedures over diplomatic passports, the two countries' diplomacy academy training programs and information exchange in education field.

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