Larnaca District Court on Friday gave the Interior Ministry a one month extension to comply with a demolition order of Ktima Makenzy.
The property has been at the centre of a legal wrangle after the Turkish Cypriot owner successfully sued the Interior Ministry as the custodian of Turkish Cypriot property for its return. The Interior Ministry then obtained an eviction order against the tenant, who contested that decision in court.
The owner sued the Interior Ministry for failure to comply with the initial court decision to return the property to the owner – who is a British citizen and therefore not subject to legislation on property owned by Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish held north.
The Interior Ministry now has until March 20 to comply with the demolition order.
Interior Minister Costas Petrides appeared in court today to explain what the ministry, as custodian of Turkish Cypriot property, had done to comply with the court’s demolition order that was issued in January 2016. The Custodian has secured permission to demolish the buildings and has invited tenders from a contractor to do so. The tenders process ends on February 20 and the ministry has a month after that to ensure it is done.
He later told reporters that the ministry would comply with court decisions.
“All the decisions and actions of the Ministry have been in framework of the decisions of the court and in line with the law. The property was repossessed on January 17, 2019 in line with the court decision. This decision also requires the property to be handed over empty,” he said.’
Under current law, property belonging to Turkish Cypriots permanently resident in the Turkish-occupied north is managed by the custodian of Turkish Cypriot properties which is under the Interior Ministry. Properties are rented by the Custodian, with priority going to refugees.