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26-08-2017 13:50 | Read 398 times

Lawyers' last-ditch bid to postpone homes auction

LAWYERS representing some of the homeowners on Lapta's Greatstone estate were locked in last-ditch talks with the Attorney-General yesterday in a bid to secure the postponement of an auction, triggered by an unpaid debt, which is due to take place tomorrow.

Lawyers' last-ditch bid to postpone homes auction

The owners have also applied for permission to hold a protest at the auction, if it should go ahead.
The site – described by the Land Registry as “Greatstone Ltd 13/19 share plot of land, title deed number 5857 of 13 dönüms three evleks, with seven half-complete and six fully-completed buildings on it” -- is set to go under the hammer at a starting price of 3.827 million TL at 2pm tomorrow, at Lapta's Cumali'nin coffee shop. The price is less than the 4.7 million TL sought at three previous sales, which failed to yield a buyer.
A Girne Land Registry spokesman told this newspaper yesterday that the sale was set to go ahead despite 11th-hour attempts by lawyer Güneş Menteş on behalf of owners – who also appealed to Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktaş to intervene.
Mr Denktaş is said to have told them “nothing more” could be done. Mr Menteş could not be reached for comment.
The planned auction comes a fortnight after other homeowners, including British expats, saw their dream homes in the sun sold off.
Twelve out of 20 homes on Karşıyaka's Harmony Homes estate were auctioned for a total of 3,024,100TL -- 100TL above the asking price -- following a 2009 court order over unpaid bank loans.
Charles Callaghan, 62, from Glasgow, who bought his Greatstone villa for £130,000 in 2006 and moved in two years later, said yesterday: "We are terribly frightened at what is about to happen because we stand to lose our homes.
“We never acted against the law and the debt had nothing to do with us. We appeal to Mr Denktaş and to the Attorney-General to help us; to defer this auction.
"We came here because we love North Cyprus and we bought in good faith. We paid all our taxes and signed the appropriate sales agreements."
Mr Callaghan said the owners had also applied to Girne District Office for permission to protest at the auction. 
“We have no intention of breaking the law. If we get the permission by then, we will take out our banners. If not, supporters will be there to support us but no protest will be held.”
Thirteen properties on the site were sold to foreign buyers, many of them British, but none has received title deeds despite each handing over an estimated £150,000.
Buyers were unaware that developer Taşer Niyazi Hilkat had an agreement with landowner Bülent Yüksekbaş which included a private lien on the entire site to guarantee his own deal for six houses.
Mr Hilkat returned to the UK before completing the work and is believed to be living in the Manchester area.
Girne District Court found in favour of Mr Yüksekbaş, allowing the sale of the entire site to pay the debt, in a decision which was upheld on appeal. Owners complained at the time that they had been unable to put their case.

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