Chapter 5 - Deprivation of possessions
A. Submissions of the Parties
I. Submissions of the applicant Government
411. The applicant Government submitted that Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus had been deprived of their possessions by:
(a) the occupation by the Turkish forces of that area, where thousands of houses and acres of land, enterprises and industries belonging to Greek Cypriots existed;
(b) the eviction of the Greek population from those possessions;
(c) the detention of the remaining Greek population; and
(d) further measures of the Turkish authorities, as described in relevant official statements of the respondent Government .
412. In support of this submission the applicant Government filed documentary evidence containing descriptions of many forms of deprivation of possessions signed by or attributed to named alleged victims. These statements relate to loss of farms, sheep and livestock, dwelling houses, agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprises, hotels and other property by persons displaced, brought about either by eviction or by seizure of moveable property and its subsequent removal by the Turkish soldiers, or by conditions arising that abandonment of home and property was the only course.
413. Details of these submissions were as follows:
(1) Immovable property
(a) Houses and land
414. The applicant Government submitted that all the privately owned land and houses belonging to Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied areas had come under the full control of the invading army and that most of them had already been distributed to Turkish Cypriots and Turks brought from Turkey in order settle in those areas .
415. The applicant Government repeatedly stressed that the Greek Cypriots who had been expelled from their homes and land by the Turkish army were still being prevented from returning to their possessions and that the Turkish authorities continued to expel the remaining Greek Cypriots from their possessions .
They further alleged that the distribution of Greek Cypriot properties had been intensified and organised in a systematic way.
(b) Agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprises
416. The applicant Government referred to the seizure and appropriation by the invading army of enterprises end industries belonging to Greek Cypriots who had been expelled and had not beet allowed to return to their property. They stated that the industries which were now being operated under Turkish control included meat preparations and dairy industries, export oriented canning plants in Famagusta and Morphou, grain milling and biscuit factories, the major olive oil and vegetable oil plants, carob, kibbling and fodder factories, textile, footwear and clothing units, almost all brick and mosaic plants, the entire lime producing plants, the only steel pipes plant, the plastics industry in Famagusta and the Nicosia industrial estate, an important concentration of industry .
417. They submitted that the Turkish Government through various official statements had made it clear that all the agricultural produce in the Turkish occupied areas, whether belonging to Greeks or not, was taken control of and exploited by the Turkish authorities. In this connection Mr. Ziya Muezzinoglu, the Turkish Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community, was reported to have stated in October 1974 that the supervision of cultivation and irrigation of the citrus groves in the occupied areas was being carried out by experts from Turkey, who had made arrangements for the taking of the fruit, and that an agreement had been reached with cooperative organisations in Turkey on marketing arrangements .
418. The applicant Government stated that industrial units belonging to Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied areas had been taken over by two large Turkish organisations which had put them into operation with the help of technical personnel from Turkey. Several factories had been reopened and were being operated in Zodhia, Morphou, Famagusta, Yialousa and Nicosia .
(c) Tourist industries
419. The applicant Government stated  that all operational hotel units in the Turkish occupied areas, a total of 66 hotels with 8,368 beds, belonged to Greek Cypriots. Many other Greek Cypriot owned tourist installations like apartments and restaurants were situated within the occupied area, in particular in the towns of Kyrenia and Famagusta. In the Government's opinion the fact that on 1 October 1974 an agreement had been signed for the setting up of a Tourism Company with the participation of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot Banks and Finance Companies, with the aim of exploiting those hotels and tourist installations in the Turkish occupied areas, showed the Turkish appropriation of the Greek Cypriot tourist industries, all worth millions of pounds.
420. The Government further alleged that after the signing of the agreement Mr. Bener, the Director-General of the Turkish Pensioners Savings Bank, one of the share-holders of the said Company, had said that tourist installations and hotels in Kyrenia were expected to be ready for tourists by the "Kurban Bairam", i.e. towards the end of December 1974. The Turkish Prime Minister had announced in October 1974 that it was planned to send about 2,000 persons from Turkey to provide the necessary personnel for the operation of the said tourist installations before the winter season and that it was also planned to transfer the management of the hotels to the Turkish Tourism Bank and other Turkish enterprises.
421. The applicant Government mentioned hotels which, according to the Government, were operated by Turks. The Turkish Minister of Tourism was reported to have said on 16 May 1975 that he had no hope of getting any income from Cyprus during the 1975 tourist season .
(2) Movable property
422. Looting of houses and business premises belonging to Greek Cypriots was described by the applicant Government as being part of a systematic course of action followed by the Turkish army in all Turkish occupied areas . Even the properties of Greek Cypriots who had remained in the Turkish-occupied areas were said not to have escaped this fate. The loot was said to have been loaded on Turkish army vehicles and buses seized from Greek Cypriots, while a substantial part of the loot, including vehicles, animals, household goods, building equipment, etc had boon transported by Turkish naval vessels to the mainland.
423. A Turkish Cypriot member of the "House of Representatives" had observed that it had been the purpose of the "peaceful operation" of the Turkish forces to secure the rights and freedoms of the Turkish Cypriot community, and not to permit looting and profiting which had been continuing for months.
424. The applicant. Government also submitted that Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the Karpasia area and other Greek villages in the Turkish occupied areas had been expelled and that the looting of their homes by Turkish soldiers had started in their presence while they wore sitting in vehicles awaiting to be driven south .
425. The applicant Government complained of robbery of agricultural produce, livestock, housing units, stocks in stores, in factories and ships owned by Greek Cypriots, as well as of jewellery and other valuables including money found on Greek Cypriots who had been arrested and detained by the Turkish army. They submitted numerous statements supporting these allegations and alleged that generally all goods left in warehouses, fields, factories, houses and shops belonging to Greek Cypriots and worth many millions of pounds had been seized and appropriated by the Turkish army and that nothing had been returned or paid to the owners thereof. They complained in particular of the taking of carrots, citrus, carobs, tobacco and other agricultural products from the Turkish occupied areas and belonging to Greek Cypriots which had been collected and transported by Turkish vessels to markets in several European countries .
426. A sale of a great number of vehicles of Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots was reported to have taken place in the port of Famagusta on 12 February 1975 .
427. The applicant Government further submitted that flocks of many Greek Cypriots, arrested when coming close to the Turkish controlled areas, were confiscated by Turkish forces without any payment or compensation. It was estimated that 48,000 pigs, 280,000 sheep and goats, 1,400,000 poultry and about 12,000 cattle worth eleven million pounds and belonging to Greek Cypriots were cut off in the occupied areas and appropriated by the Turkish authorities. Their Greek Cypriot owners were not allowed to feed them and, when trying to do so, were killed or captured by the Turkish army .
428. Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the Turkish occupied areas were told by the Turkish military authorities that citrus fruits and other agricultural products belonging to Greek Cypriots should be considered as the property of the Turkish military authorities.
429. The applicant Government also complained of the taking of yachts and fishing boats belonging to Greek Cypriots which, according to the Government were listed by the Turkish military authorities for sale by public auction to Turkish Cypriots .
(3) Destruction of movable and immovable property
430. The applicant Government alleged that many shops and warehouses, as well as orchards and lemon gardens belonging to Greek Cypriots were set on fire by the Turkish army, at a time when no military activities were carried out. Household equipment, clothing and medical equipment were broken, destroyed or burnt. The destruction included the smashing and setting on fire of icons, other religious items and church equipment in Greek Orthodox churches some of which were converted into mosques .
431. Hundreds of thousands of animals were left unattended by their Greek owners who were obliged by the invading army to leave their villages. The animals fell into the hands of the Turkish army and hundreds were shot dead or died because of lack of food and veterinary, care .
II. Submissions of the respondent Government
432. The respondent Government who, for the reasons stated above , did not participate in the proceedings on the merits, have not made any statements with regard to the above allegations.
B. Relevant Article of the Convention
433. The Commission considers that the above-mentioned allegations concerning deprivation of possessions raise issues under Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1 which reads as follows:
"Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties."
C. Evidence obtained
434. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot population was displaced from the northern area of Cyprus where it left behind movable and immovable possessions, and that it is not allowed to return thereto, has been discussed in Chapter 1 above.
435. However, specific evidence as to events directly or indirectly affecting the state in which these Possessions were left was obtained from numerous sources by the Commission: i.a. testimonies of witnesses heard by the Delegation or of persons interviewed in refugee camps, statements of alleged eye-witnesses submitted by the applicant Government and by witnesses at the hearing, published statements of the Turkish authorities and United Nations documents.
I. Immovable property
1. Houses and land
437. In particular, Mr. Charalambides, the former Deputy Mayor of Kyrenia, stated that he saw houses belonging to Greek Cypriots, who had sought refuge in the Dome Hotel in Kyrenia, occupied by Turkish Cypriots from Limmasol and that the Turkish Administration set up a so-called "Office for Housing" for the distribution of houses left behind by Greek Cypriots. He further mentioned the taking over of a house by the (Turkish) army and of a hotel by the "navy people" . Witness Andronikou also mentioned the occupation of some hotels by the Turkish forces . This evidence was corroborated by the statements of alleged eye-witnesses submitted by the applicant Government .
438. Mr. Tryfon, Chairman of the Cyprus Land and Property Owners Association, stated that 48,611 houses of Greek Cypriots worth about 250 million pounds were taken over by the Turkish army . He submitted statements of persons from i.a. Lapithos, Ayios Georgios, Kyrenia, Morphou and Karavas who were said to have been eye-witnesses of the distribution and/or occupation of their houses by Turkish Cypriots and Turks from the mainland . He further referred to publications stating that families of Turkish soldiers who had fought in Cyprus were allowed to settle there .
2. Agricultural commercial and industrial enterprises
439. Mr. Savvides, President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described the loss of agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprises and gave an estimation of their value .
He stated that this information had been supplied by members of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry who had sent reports and figures of the damage suffered by them as a result of the invasion .
440. According to this witness many agricultrual complexes, e.g. citrus groves, tobacco plantations etc. were inaccessible to their Greek owners and in Turkish hands, the products were confiscated and exported from Cyprus without the authority of the owners and of the Cyprus Government .
441. The witness referred to an extract from the Reuter Fruit Report No. 9008 of 18 October 1974 stating that Turkish exports of citrus fruit and especially lemons as officially estimated and declared by Turkey had increased from 30,000 tons in 1973-74 to 80,000 in 1974-75. In his opinion such increase in (Turkish) production within a year was impossible (Turkish Cypriots owned less than 5% of the citrus groves); the difference represented approximately the production of Cyprus .
442. According to this witness Mr. Muezzinoglu, the Turkish Permanent Representative to the European Economic Community, who had headed the Turkish Co-ordination Committee for Cyprus, had stated that two State Farms were being set up in the north of Cyprus with the aim of looking after the livestock which were then gathered in temporary pens .
443. As to industries and commerce, Mr. Savvides stated that all installations, buildings, plants and machineries had been taken over by the invasion forces and that some of them were working with Turkish participation and control .
He also spoke of considerable losses by all major financial institutions, e.g. banks, etc. .
444. Witness Azinas, the Commissioner for Co-operative Development, stated that 238 co-operatives existed in the occupied area and submitted a list containing the losses suffered in value consisting of i.a. cash, cheques, bonds or other valuables, goods in stock, vehicles, furniture. These figures were based on declarations by the managing directors of the said co-operatives . He further stated that the Turkish forces had obliged some employees of the Turkish Co-operative movement to divide and rent Greek-owned plantations in the Morphou area to Turkish Cypriots and some of the premises of the co-operatives had been used by order of the local Turkish military people and by Turkish Cypriots, like the Morphou Citrus Owners Organisation.
3. Tourist industries
445. Mr. Andronikou, Director General of the C yprus Tourism Organisation, gave evidence with regard to the losses suffered by tourist industries in the north belonging to Greek Cypriots. He submitted schedules indicating the numbers of operational hotels, hotels under construction, hotel apartments and other tourist accommodation and establishments which, according to the witness, were worth more than 100 million pounds .
446. He also stated that a number of hotels and other tourist establishments had been occupied by Turkish armed forces and used by them either as military headquarters or for allied purposes .
447. As to the putting into operation of such establishments, Mr. Andronikou said that statements made by officials of the Turkish Ministry of Tourism showed that the actual operation and management of these establishments were carried out by them .
448. When questioned by the Delegation whether there was any indication in the said statements that Turkish organisations had assumed the actual ownership of the hotels, or whether the reference was always to mere operation of hotels, Mr. Andronikou replied that there was no statement that they had taken over the ownership. According to him there was evidence that they were operating, managing and keeping the revenue therefrom, as if the properties concerned were their own .
449. Amongst a number of newspaper articles in the Turkish press concerning tourism in the northern area and submitted by Mr. Andronikou  one article reported that Dr. Evliyaoglu, Under-Secretary for Tourism and Information of the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Tourism Enterprises Ltd., had stated i.a. that his enterprise had been established by a decision of the Turkish Council of Ministers .
450. Another report mentioned that all the hotels and tourist installations which were under the control of the Autonomous Turkish Cypriot Administration would be transferred to the above-mentioned enterprise .
451. A further press report quoted the Turkish Prime Minister as having declared i.a. that he was working on a plan to transfer the management of the hotels to the Turkish Tourism Bank and to other Turkish businessmen .
452. Two press reports concerned the leasing of hotels, one containing an invitation by the so-called Tourist Enterprise for tenders for the lease of an 80-bed hotel on the Salamis-Famagusta road  and the other quoting the text of a notice of the same enterprise by which persons who had submitted tenders for the leasing of hotels, restaurants, beaches, etc, in the areas of Famagusta end Kyrenia, were to call at its offices in order to discuss the question o f rental . The latter press report also listed the (Turkish) names and the addresses of people living in Kyrenia, Nicosia, Adana, Ankara, Istanbul and Amsterdam. Mr. Andronikou further stated that the Turkish Government had requested all foreigners who had property or any interest in the north of Cyprus to declare that property or interest .
II. Movable property
453. Witness Pirkettis, who was apprehended by the Turkish forces and taken to Adana as a prisoner, described looting which he saw in Trimithi as follows:
"... It was about 11.30, every house was looted, especially they (Turkish soldiers) took things valuable and small, radios, money, but everything was scattered on the floor and so on, and they took food, whatever it was ..." .
454. Looting in Kyrenia was described by Mr. Charalambides who had also been running a private medical practice :
"... the first days of looting of the shops was done by the army, of heavy things like refrigerators, laundry machines, television sets. I saw this because they needed my help to go out and find out where dead bodies were lying ... So that is how I know that in the main streets of Kyrenia all the shops were looted and emptied by the army, and of course, it was everybody's lot afterwards because all doors and windows were open so everybody could walk in, but the heavy goods were removed by army truck". 
455. When asked whether he had seen that stolen or looted goods had been loaded on ships, the witness confirmed this as follows:
"Yes, the first weeks from Kyrenia harbour they used to bring these small ships (navy ships) and we witnessed, from the Dome, because it is so near, the loading of cars and goods, refrigerators, some big things on these ships". 
456. Witness Kaniklides, a barrister from Famagusta, reported similar events in his home town . He stated that, unlike other inhabitants of Famagusta, he did not flee before the arrival of Turkish troops because his mother was unfit for transportation. After the occupation of Famagusta he spent more than three weeks hidden in his house. He said inter alia:
"At two o'clock an organised, systematic, terrifying, shocking, unbelievable looting started ... We heard the breaking of doors, some of them iron doors, smashing of glass and we were waiting for them any minute to enter the house. This lasted for about four hours."
457. When questioned by the Delegates as to whether the looting had been carried out by the Turkish army forces, he stated :
"On that day I think it was organised; it must have been the Turkish forces."
458. Mr. Kaniklides further stated that the following day he dared to move the shades of a window in order to look out on the street and observed a man in civilian dress and three soldiers with weapons looting a shop .
459. Some of the witnesses declared that they had heard of looting .
460. One of the persons heard by the Delegates in the refugee camps  also declared that he found his house looted.
461. The Commission further notes that the applicant Government have submitted a great number of written statements by alleged eye-witnesses describing looting in places ranging from Kyrenia to Famagusta .
462. This evidence is corroborated by several reports by the Secretary-General of the United Nations mentioning widespread looting in the wake of the hostilities in occupied areas , the removal of some property from a factory south of Kalopsidha by Turkish forces  and looting by Turkish Cypriots and Turkish forces particularly in Famagusta-Varosha .
463. Witness Pirkettis described  robbery of personal belongings as follows:
"... Then they made us come down from the trucks, they left the women and the children in the trucks, they took everything we had: money, watches, rings and crosses, everything valuable. And they made it a lot on the table there ... and there was an officer and he said: We will give it back to you later. But I knew that was lies because they could not know which belonged to whom. They did not write any names or anything."
464. Witness Charalambides stated  that in the first two days all the people who were found hiding in their houses were taken for interrogation, and that they lost their watches, lighters and rings; they all came to the Dome Hotel without them.
466. The Commission further notes that a great number of written statements by alleged eye-witnesses submitted by the applicant Government also described cases of robbery .
III. Destruction of movable and immovable property
467. Evidence concerning destruction of property was given by witness Charalambides who stated that during the first search of his house by the army some of his medical instruments were badly damaged .
468. Further evidence was obtained from witness Kaniklides  and persons heard in the refugee camps who stated that they witnessed destruction of property by the Turkish forces in Famagusta, Ayios Georgios, Boghasi and near Mora .
469. Witnesses Odysseos , Tryfon , and Azinas  declared that they heard of an order by Turkish military authorities to uproot a dried-out orange orchard at Kalo Khorio, of efforts by Turkish soldiers to burn down all the buildings along the green line in Nicosia and of the destruction of consumer goods respectively.
470. The Commission also notes that a number of the written statements by alleged eye-witnesses describe the breaking of doors and windows of houses, the smashing of furniture , icons, candles and other church property , the setting on, fire of orchards and crops  and the killing of animals .
D. Evaluation of the evidence obtained
471. As regards the displacement of the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot population from the northern area, where it left behind movable and immovable possessions, and the established fact that these displaced persons are not allowed to return to their homes in the north, and thus to property left there, the Commission refers to its findings in Chapter 1 above .
II. Immovable property
1. Houses and land
472. As to the specific evidence obtained concerning the occupation of houses and land by Turkish Cypriots, Turkish soldiers and Turks from the mainland, witness Charalambides described the events which took place in Kyrenia in a calm and precise manner. His statement was corroborated by the evidence of some other witnesses and a number of written statements submitted .
The Commission, for the reasons stated above , could not investigate all incidents described in the written statements, especially those where Turks from the mainland were concerned. However, together with the above evidence, these statements constitute further elements of proof of taking and occupation of houses and land by Turkish Cypriots and Turks from the mainland, both military personnel and civilians.
473. The Commission further observes that about 40,000 Turkish Cypriots originally residing in the south, including approximately 17,000 transferred under negotiated agreements, moved gradually to the north of the island from 1974 onwards .
The Commission considers that accommodation had consequently to be found for over 40,000 Turkish Cypriots in the northern area and that this element supports allegations concerning the occupation on a considerable scale of houses and land in the north belonging to Greek Cypriots, and the establishment of an office for housing to regulate the distribution .
474. The Commission therefore accepts the evidence obtained as establishing the taking and occupation of houses and land belonging to Greek Cypriots.
475. The figures or losses given may be approximate and detailed findings would require a closer examination. However, such details would only be of secondary importance in the determination of the alleged violations of Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1.
476. Moreover, the Commission found strong indications that Turks from the mainland have settled in houses belonging to Greek Cypriots in the north of the island .
2. Agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprises
477. The Commission finds no reason to doubt the testimonies of MM. Savvides and Azinas . It finds it established that agricultural, commercial and industrial enterprises were taken out of the hands of Greek Cypriots but considers that a definite finding concerning the value and the operation of the said enterprises after 20 July 1974 cannot be made because the matter has not been further investigated for the reasons stated above .
3. Tourist industries
478. Witness Andronikou's lengthy and detailed statement does not give rise to any doubt as to its credibility. The Commission considers, however, that the figures of the value of these industries would need further investigation. As regards the putting into operation of some named hotels in Kyrenia and Famagusta, the submitted newspaper cuttings containing advertisements on trips to the said hotels and on leasing of other hotels and statements by Turkish authorities, substantially corroborated Mr. Andronikou's testimony .
479. The Commission concludes that the evidence so far obtained proves beyond reasonable doubt the putting into operation of certain hotels in the northern area while further investigations would be required to establish the actual situation as regards the appropriation of such property and its value.
III. Looting and robbery of movable property
480. Witnesses Pirkettis and Charalambides are, as stated above , credible and the Commission finds no reason to doubt the testimony of Mr. Kaniklides. Further statements by other witnesses and persons heard in the refugee camps as well as the numerous written statements submitted fully corroborate the descriptions given by these witnesses .
The Commission, therefore, accepts their testimoney as proving beyond reasonable doubt that looting and robbery on an extensive scale, by Turkish troops and Turkish Cypriots have taken place.
IV. Destruction of property
481. The credible testimony of witnesses Charalambides and Kaniklides is further supported by the evidence given by persons interviewed in the refugee camps and by a great number of written statements submitted. The Commission is therefore satisfied that destruction of property has taken place in many cases .
482. The evidence concerning the uprooting of a dried out orange orchard, the effort to burn down all the buildings along the green line in Nicosia, and the destruction of consumer goods, as mentioned by witnesses Odysseos, Tryfon and Azinas respectively, constitutes strong indications of the measures described .
E. Responsibility of Turkey under the Convention
483. The Commission has already found that the refusal to allow the return of Greek Cypriot refugees and expellees to the north of Cyprus  must be imputed to Turkey under the Convention. It now considers that the consequent interference with the peaceful enjoyment by Greek Cypriots of their movable and immovable possessions in the north must equally be imputed to Turkey.
484. The evidence further showed that the taking of houses and land, looting and robbery, and destruction of certain property were effectuated by the Turkish forces. These acts must therefore be imputed to Turkey.
485. As regards such deprivations of possessions by Turkish Cypriots, the Commission considers that, insofar as the persons committing them were acting under the direct orders or authority of the Turkish forces of which there is evidence, the deprivation must equally be imputed to Turkey under the Convention.
486. The Commission, by 12 Votes against one, finds it established that there has been deprivation of possessions of Greek Cypriots on a large scale, the exact extent of which could not be determined. This deprivation must be imputed to Turkey under the Convention and it has not been shown that any of these interferences were necessary for any of the purposes mentioned in Art. 1 of Protocol No. 1.
487. The question whether any of these acts were justified under Art. 15 of the Convention will be considered in Part III of this Report.