Conference hall Ktima Makenzy in Larnaca is being guarded by police after its Greek Cypriot tenant was evicted on Thursday so that the property can be handed back to its Turkish Cypriot owner.
A number of events, such as marriages and conferences planned at the venue are now up in the air.
Larnaca District Court on Friday issued a demolition order for part of the complex. But lawyers for the owners said no such development was expected for the time being.
The court gave a deadline until January 31 to the Republic to remove construction from the conference hall. Ministry of Interior officials told CNA that police will remain there until that date.
On Thursday morning police entered the property, asked the staff to evacuate the premises and sealed the building.
According to a Larnaca District Court decision, the property had wrongfully came under the control of the Custodian of Turkish Cypriot, -who leased the property to the Greek Cypriot tenant in 2010 – as the owners are British citizens.
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.
The original owner of the property, Fikret Ali Riza, was born in Nicosia in 1926 and migrated to London in 1951, nine years before the Republic of Cyprus was founded. Before he died in 2000, he had transferred the property to his son Raymond Riza, who was born in Britain in 1955. Both are British citizens.
The other half of the property belongs to Fikret Ali Riza’s brother who has also passed away.
According to the decision, the Greek Cypriot tenants are not allowed to rent, enter and use the 1/2 of the property, which belongs to Raymond Riza. Also, the Court ordered the Republic to remove all construction from the property.
The decree was issued in January 2016. The tenant was ordered to evacuate the property by June 2016 and to suspend the conference hall’s use until then, something which did not happen.
One of the parties proceeded to sue the ministry for defying the court decision and secured a new order to return the property to its rightful owners.
The court gave the sides 45 days to come to an agreement for the sale of the property.
No agreement was achieved, thus police on Thursday evicted the Greek Cypriot tenant.
The tenant’s side claim that the eviction order was issued against the Ministry of Interior, not his client. He added that he will forward the matter to the Ombudsman.