By KEREM HASAN
Speaking to Cyprus Today, Ayfer Erkmen said there are 203 individual applicants who have been waiting to receive compensation since 2014 due to a “resource shortage”.
Evaluating the status of the IPC as 2019 draws to an end, Mr Erkmen said the IPC has received 6,629 applications to date. Of these, 195 have been withdrawn for “various reasons” while 1,203 have been concluded.
Of the concluded case files, 203 people have not been compensated for nearly six years, Erkmen said, while the remaining 5,232 applications have not even been assessed yet.
Stating that 95 per cent of applicants to the IPC seek monetary compensation, Mr Erkmen said: “The government needs to take action to help fund these compensation payouts by introducing a capital gains tax because when compensation is paid for a [former Greek Cypriot-owned] property, that property appreciates by up to 200 per cent.
“We make decisions regarding compensation, exchange and retribution. In case retribution is not possible, we have the authority to offer compensation.”
Stating that South Cyprus was pressuring its public servants not to make applications to the IPC, Mr Erkmen said compensation paid out to Greek Cypriots since the IPC started its activities in 2006 amounted to some £303 million.
Mr Erkmen also revealed that there are 280 applications relating to the closed town of Maraş, a military area that has been closed to civilian life since 1974.
He said while the Evfkaf religious foundation claims Maraş to be “Turkish territory” the TRNC Supreme Court had ruled, as previously reported, that the IPC does not have the authority to consider title deeds issued in the pre-1974 era.
The 280 property applications regarding Maraş are “still pending for evaluation” due to a lack of movement on the issue, Mr Erkmen explained.
“[Only] 1974 owners can return to Maraş,” he said. “We will go through the applications considering the deeds.”
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