Lost Property in Northern Cyprus – The Immoveable Property Commission

During the Turkish military intervention of Cyprus in 1974, thousands of Greek Cypriots (many of whom are now UK residents) were forced to abandon their properties in Northern Cyprus.

Some of the Greek Cypriots who lost their homes brought the issue to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They successfully claimed that Turkey had violated their Human Rights as they were now unable to access their properties as a result of the division of the island.

In response to these cases, Turkey was ordered to provide a remedy for those affected.

As a result, in 2005 the government in the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) passed legislation which created the Immovable Property Compensation Commission (IPC).

The IPC seeks to provide a just and effective remedy to the property claims of Greek Cypriots who lost control of their properties.

Greek Cypriots must now go through the IPC application process before they would be able to bring a claim to the ECHR.

How can the Immoveable Property Compensation Commission help?

The IPC assesses claims by pre-1974 owners of properties in the Northern territory of Cyprus and can make binding orders for one of the following three remedies to be granted to the Greek Cypriots who lost their homes:

  • Restitution (reinstatement of the property to applicant)
  • Exchange (offering an alternative property to the applicant) or
  • Compensation for the loss of the property

The IPC has currently received over 6,000 applications and in the vast majority of cases the remedy ordered has been compensation for the applicant. The Exchange and Restitution remedies have been order in just a handful of cases.

Where compensation is ordered, this is paid by the Turkish government and not the new property owners.

Once a settlement has been reached, applicants are not able to make a claim in respect of their property again in the future.

Who can make an application to the IPC?

The application should be made by the person whose name is on the property title deeds.

Where the property is in the name of a deceased person, the application can be submitted by the legal heirs of the deceased person.

If you are entitled to make a claim you can either make the application directly to the IPC yourself or through a representative in Northern Cyprus (usually a lawyer).

Will I have to go to Northern Cyprus to make a IPC Claim?

If you instruct a lawyer in Northern Cyprus to assist you, you can provide the lawyer with a Power of Attorney which provides them with the authority to make the application for you on your behalf.

This means that you will not have to travel to Northern Cyprus until the very end of the process when an offer for compensation is accepted.

Is there a deadline for making an application to the IPC?

Originally, the Commission was intended to operate from the date of the legislation until 21 December 2009 but was later extended to 21 December 2015 and then to December 2017. UPDATE: This deadline was extended again to December 2021. Immoveable Property Commission Deadline For Property Compensation Claims in Northern Cyprus Extended to 2021

I want to make a claim to the IPC. What do I do next?

Contact Worldwide Lawyers today on 01244 470339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. There is only a short window in which to make your claim so do not delay getting advice.

Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with a lawyer in Northern Cyprus (TRNC) who has experience assisting Greek Cypriots and their families with claims to the Immoveable Property Compensation Commission.

We can provide you with further information about making an application to the Immoveable Property Compensation Commission and obtain a no-obligation quotation from an experienced lawyer in Northern Cyprus into assist you with all aspects of your IPC claim.