In a final judgment announced on May 12 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Turkey to pay Cyprus 90 million euro in a case lodged in 1994 in connection with the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
The court held by a majority that the passage of time since the principal judgment of May 10 2001 did not preclude the court from examining the Cypriot government’s claims, the ECHR said in a media statement.
The court held, by a majority, that Turkey was to pay Cyprus 30 million euro in respect of
the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the relatives of the missing persons, and 60 million euro in respect of the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula.
These amounts are to be distributed by the Cypriot Government to the individual victims under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers.
The case concerned the situation in northern Cyprus since Turkey carried out military operations there in July and August 1974, and the continuing division of the territory of Cyprus since that time.
In its Grand Chamber judgment delivered in May 2001, the Court found numerous violations of
the Convention by Turkey, arising out of the military operations it had conducted in northern Cyprus in July and August 1974, the continuing division of the territory of Cyprus and the activities of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (the “TRNC”).
Regarding the issue of just satisfaction, the Court held unanimously that it was not ready for decision and adjourned its consideration.
The procedure for execution of the principal judgment is currently pending before the Committee of Ministers.
On August 31 2007, the Cypriot Government informed the Court that they intended to submit a
request to the Grand Chamber for it to resume consideration of the question of just satisfaction.
On March 11 2010, the Cypriot Government submitted to the Court their claims for just satisfaction concerning the missing persons in respect of whom the Court had found a violation of Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) and 5 (right to liberty and security).
On November 25 2011, the Cypriot Government sent the Court a document concerning the
procedure before the Committee of Ministers for execution of the principal judgment, requesting the Court to take certain steps in order to facilitate the execution of that judgment.
In response to some further questions and an invitation from the Court to submit a final version of their claims for just satisfaction, the Cypriot Government on June18 2012 submitted their claims under Article 41 concerning the missing persons, and raised claims in respect of the violations committed against the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula.
The Court noted that the Cypriot Government had submitted just satisfaction claims in respect of violations committed against two precise and objectively identifiable groups of people, namely 1456 missing persons and the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents of the Karpas peninsula.
Just satisfaction was not being sought with a view to compensating the Cypriot State for a violation of its rights but for the benefit of individual victims.
Insofar as the missing persons and the Karpas residents were concerned, the Court considered that the Cypriot Government were entitled to make a claim under Article 41, and that granting just satisfaction in the present case would be justified.
In view of all the relevant circumstances of the case, the Court considered it reasonable to award the Cypriot Government aggregate sums of 30 million euro for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the surviving relatives of the missing persons, and 60 million euro for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the enclaved residents of the Karpas peninsula.
Those sums were to be distributed by the Cypriot Government to the individual victims of the violations found in the principal judgment.
The Court considered that it should be left to the Cypriot Government, under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers, to set up an effective mechanism to distribute the above-mentioned sums to the individual victims.