Notes(99)663...(678/H54-1)...Loizidou against Turkey - Judgment of 18 December 1996 and 28 July 1998 - Application of Article 54 of the ECHR

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Ministers' Deputies
Notes on the Agenda
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678 Meeting, 8-9 September 1999
Human Rights Meeting

H54-1 - Loizidou against Turkey

Judgments of 18 December 1996 and 28 July 1998
Application of Article 54 of the ECHR

Notes(99)663 27 August 1999

Reference documents
- CM/Del/Dec(99)677/H54-61
- CM/Del/Act(99)659
- CM/Del/Act(98)626, 647, 654
- CM/Del/Act(97)599 Addendum
- CM/Inf(99)54

Action

The Deputies are invited to resume consideration of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Loizidou against Turkey on the basis of the Rules concerning the application of Article 54 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Deputies are also invited to examine the draft Interim Resolution (Appendix I) in the light of the information provided by the Delegation of Turkey.

The Deputies considered this case at their 585th (March 1997, item H54-7), 599th (September 1997, item H54-40), 618th (February 1998, item H54-51), and 626th (March 1998, item
H54-69) meetings.

Since the adoption of the Court’s judgment of 28 July 1998, the Deputies have considered this case at their 640th (September 1998, item H54-68), 647th (October 1998, item H54-30) and 654th (December 1998 – January 1999, item H54-20), 659 (February 1999, item H54-54) and 666th (March 1999, item H54-60), 672th (May 1999, item H54-23) and 677th (July 1999, item H54-61) meetings.

The case concerns the applicant's complaint that the Turkish authorities had continuously prevented her from having access to and enjoying certain property she owned in northern Cyprus.

In its judgment of 18 December 1996 the Court:

- dismissed, by eleven votes to six, the preliminary objection ratione temporis;

- held, by eleven votes to six, that the denial of access to the applicant's property and consequent loss of control thereof was imputable to Turkey;

- held, by eleven votes to six, that there had been a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1;

- held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 8 of the Convention;

- held, unanimously, that the question of the application of Article 50 of the Convention was not ready for decision and consequently reserved the said question.

Subsequently, on 28 July 1998, the Court rendered its judgment under Article 50. In this judgment the Court:

- dismissed, by fifteen votes to two, the respondent State’s claim that the applicant has no entitlement to an award of just satisfaction under article 50 of the Convention;

- held, by fourteen votes to three, that the respondent State was to pay to the applicant, within three months, 300,000 Cypriot pounds for pecuniary damage;

- held, by fifteen votes to two, that the respondent State was to pay to the applicant, within three months, 20,000 Cypriot pounds for non-pecuniary damage;

- held, by thirteen votes to four, that the Respondent State was to pay to the applicant, within three months, 137,084 Cypriot pounds and 83 cents for costs and expenses;

- held, by fifteen votes to two, that simple interest at an annual rate of 8% was payable on the above amounts from the expiry of the abovementioned three months until settlement;

- dismissed, unanimously, the Cypriot Government’s claims for costs and expenses;

- dismissed, unanimously, the remainder of the claim for just satisfaction.

The Court’s judgment of 18 December 1996 on the merits was examined by Deputies for the first time at their 585th meeting. At this meeting it was decided to postpone the examination of the case for no more than six months.

The Deputies subsequently examined the case at their 599th, 618th and 626th meetings. At the 626th meeting, it was decided to postpone the examination of the case until the Court had pronounced its judgment on just satisfaction.

A full account of the interventions made at the 599th and 626th meetings has been reproduced in the records: (CM/Del/Act(97)599 Addendum and CM/Del/Act(98)626 respectively).

Subsequently the Court, on 28 July 1998 rendered its judgment under Article 50.

At the 640th meeting (September 1998), the Representative of Turkey stated in a declaration, which was distributed in writing at the meeting, that the judgments in the Loizidou case were fundamentally different from other individual or interstate applications. She drew attention to the exceptional character of the case, its political implications and the negative effects it could have on the Cypriot problem. The Representative of Turkey therefore asked the Committee of Ministers to take this into account when examining the case.

The Representative of Cyprus stated that it was regrettable that Turkey was attempting to politicise the issue. The Deputies needed to deal with the individual case as it had been presented before the Court. The question to be answered was whether or not the respondent State had abided by the judgment. One of the first issues to be supervised was the payment of the just satisfaction which had been awarded to the applicant by the Court in its Article 50 judgment. In addition, the Representative referred to the arguments which had been presented in her letter of 9 September 1998, addressed to Permanent Representatives, notably to the effect that, in addition to just satisfaction, general measures would be required. She proposed that the Secretariat make concrete proposals to this effect.

The Representative of Greece also regretted that Turkey was politicising the case and questioned whether Turkey was prepared to comply with the Court’s judgment.

Several delegations, notably the Representatives of the five Nordic States (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) in a joint declaration, intervened to underline the importance of implementing the Court’s judgments and stated that a legal solution would have to be found.

The Deputy Director of human rights recalled that, in accordance with the usual practice, three issues would need to be addressed by the Committee of Ministers in the context of Article 54: the payment of just satisfaction awarded by the Court, individual measures necessary to remove the effects of the violation, and general measures. In respect of the suggestion of the Representative of Cyprus that the Secretariat should make proposals concerning execution, she stressed that while the Secretariat was thinking of both individual and general measures, it was important that capitals also contribute to this reflection in the general interest of maintaining the efficency of the Convention system.

At the 647th meeting (October 1998), the Representative of Turkey asked for a postponement to the next meeting as her authorities were continuing their examination of the case.

The Chairman stated that, as the deadline for payment would not expire until the following day, 28 October 1998, there was no basis for a discussion on non-compliance with the judgment at this meeting.

Deputies accordingly decided to postpone the examination of this item at their next meeting.

A full account of the interventions under this point of the agenda appears in the Records of the 647th meeting (CM/Del/Act(98)647).

At the 654th meeting (December 1998-January 1999), the Representative of Turkey made a statement in which she referred to the arguments she had presented at the 640th meeting, and to the position of her authorities that the Court’s judgments could not be executed. She underlined that in the past, Turkey had always abided by all the decisions of the Court, but the present case was "exceptional in nature" according to the Court itself.

The Representative of Turkey underlined that the question of the payment of the just satisfaction could not be isolated from the other issues at stake in the Cyprus negotiations, notably the property issue which had been of a central importance since 1975. The agreement signed in 1977 between Mr Denktas and the late Archbishop Makarios aiming at the establishment of an independent, non-aligned and bi-communal federal republic was a landmark agreement. Subsequently, the 1986 negotiations with the UN had led to the establishment of a “set of ideas” by the Secretary General of the UN. Therefore, the Court’s judgment could be taken into account in the discussions regarding the creation of a joint claims committee in the framework of the UN. This approach would satisfy UN requirements as well as Turkey’s obligations under the Convention.

The Representative of Cyprus stated that the Committee of Ministers was facing unprecedented behaviour from a member State. This was the first time that Turkey had expressly stated that it would not pay. This kind of behaviour before a national court would be perceived as contempt of court.

The Representative of Sweden, in a statement on behalf of the five Nordic states, stated that Turkey should pay the just satisfaction awarded by the Court’s judgment and that it was regrettable that payment had not already been made. He asked that the case be put on the agenda for the next meeting. This declaration received support from a large number of Delegations.

In several interventions, regret was again expressed regarding the fact that Turkey was politicising the Court’s judgment. In order to ensure the credibility of the Convention system, payment had to be made.

The Representative of Greece stated that the case was complicated but easy at the same time: it concerned an individual complaint in respect of which there was a clear decision by the Court that just satisfaction must be paid; it also concerned a complex legal and social situation which had to be addressed in the context of the general measures. The Committee of Ministers now had to supervise the implementation of this judgment. As regards Ms Loizidou’s individual situation, the Court had awarded her just satisfaction in full cognisance of the political problems and the UN negotiations, which had been going on for the last 32 years. It was not for the Committee of Ministers to reopen the case but to ensure the implementation of the judgment.

The Director of human rights also noted that this was the first time that Turkey had indicated that it did not intend to execute the judgments. He noted that there was a general agreement that Turkey was obliged to execute the judgments and pay the just satisfaction to the applicant. In addition, he underlined that the Court’s judgments concerned an individual case. Payment by Turkey would therefore not set a precedent in other cases against Turkey, as each of these cases would need to be examined on their merits according to the development of the situation at the time of their examination.

Regarding Turkey’s proposal to ensure execution of the judgment within the UN, the Director of human rights underlined that this would imply mistrust in the Council of Europe’s ability to uphold the Convention system. The specificity of this Organisation was its approach to the problem on the basis of freely accepted obligations, the observance of which were upheld by an independent Court, responsible for deciding on complaints, and the Committee of Ministers entrusted with ensuring compliance with these judgments. It was this judicial approach which needed to be explored in this case. In this context, he noted that, according to the UN Secretary General’s latest report on operations in Cyprus, no significant development had taken place since December 1997.

The Representative of Turkey made a clarification of her earlier statement by pointing out that she had not put into question the judgment but simply that an acceptable outcome of the case had to be found. The execution of the judgment would need to be part of a global solution of the Cyprus problem.

The Deputies agreed to resume consideration of the problems raised by the case at their next meeting.

A full account of interventions under this point on the agenda appears in the Records of the 654th meeting (CM/Del/Act(98)654).

At the 659th meeting (February 1999), the Representative of Turkey recalled that in view of the exceptional and inapplicable nature of the judgments this also raised exceptional difficulties insofar as their execution was concerned. The Representative underlined that in order to respect the Court’s judgments, Turkey had made serious efforts to find a solution which would correspond to the magnitude of the problems related to the case as well as satisfy all parties concerned. In this context, the Representative made reference to a letter from Mr Denktas to the Secretary General of the UN, to establish a Joint Property Claims Commission with a view to settling all property cases in Cyprus, including the Loizidou case. Mr Denktas had also sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to inform him of this initiative.

The Representative of Turkey listed the steps set out in the guidelines on the composition and modalities of the proposed Joint Property Claims Commission, drawn up by the Turkish Cypriot side. This proposal could, according to the Representative, open the way to solving the Loizidou case. If the Council of Europe would undertake to implement the above-mentioned proposal, this would also enhance the authority of the Organisation.

The Representative of Cyprus stated that this was the fourth time the Committee of Ministers was faced with the refusal of the Turkish Government to comply with the judgments of the Court in the Loizidou case. Regarding the Turkish proposal, she referred to the Committee’s obligation under Article 54 of the Convention to supervise the execution of Court’s decision. The Court itself had stressed that the present case concerned the applicant’s personal situation but not the general situation of the property rights of Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus. The arguments presented by the Representative of Turkey regarding the general situation had been examined by the Court and discarded. Accordingly, the Committee of Ministers’ could not pronounce itself on, or set up machinery to investigate, the general situation concerning the property rights of Greek Cypriots in the occupied area. Furthermore, as the Court had held that Ms Loizidou was the legal owner of the property in question, the setting up of machinery for compensation for deprivation of ownership would go beyond the scope of the judgments.

The Representative of Cyprus concluded by submitting to the Deputies a draft interim resolution in which the Committee of Ministers would urge Turkey to "proceed without delay to the payment of the amount decided by the Court". She stated that as the Committee would need some time to examine the text, it could probably not be adopted at the present meeting. There was, however, no possibility for Turkey to avoid the payment of just satisfaction. Only after such payment had been made could the issues concerning general measures be discussed.

The Representative of the United Kingdom stated that he concluded from the intervention of the Turkish Representative that all delegations accepted that the Court’s judgments were binding in this case. He also recalled that the Court had said that its judgments were not intended to undermine the ongoing discussions in the context of the United Nations regarding the overall Cyprus problem. He therefore asked whether the Representative of Turkey could explain the place of his proposal in this process. Even though the Representative of the United Kingdom did not have specific instructions regarding the ideas which had been presented, he stated that his authorities felt that it would be very difficult to detach one aspect from the overall UN discussions.

The Representative of Greece stated that the Committee of Ministers was witnessing a systematic effort to politicise the case and to use it to resolve the Cyprus problem in a way which would be favourable to Turkey. He agreed with the Representative of the United Kingdom that if Turkey wished to discuss these issues, this should be done within the UN.

Several Delegations intervened to support the position expressed by the United Kingdom Representative concerning the binding nature of the Court’s judgments and the legitimate expectation that Turkey would implement the judgments in the present case. Delegations pointed out that they would not accept any compromises as far as the payment of the just satisfaction was concerned.

Due to the complexity of the case, a readiness to co-operate in order to find a solution within the Committee of Ministers was also expressed. This could contribute to the safeguarding of the credibility of the judicial system laid down in the Convention.

As regards the draft interim resolution which had been presented by Cyprus, Delegations asked for more time in order to study the text. One delegation, however, stated that it would have been prepared to accept the interim resolution immediately.

The Director of human rights responded to the comments made by recalling certain facts in the Loizidou case: even though legal and political considerations were closely intertwined, certain elements could be distinguished. As a direct consequence of the Court’s judgment, one obligation was to pay the just satisfaction which had been awarded. In addition, there were other aspects of the judgment. The case would become complex only when these were examined. Even though these other aspects could not be totally discarded, they could not be presented as preconditions for the payment of the just satisfaction. It had already occurred that governments encountered serious difficulties concerning payment of just satisfaction. In the present case, however, the nature of the difficulties for the respondent Government to pay had not been expressed clearly. Earlier statements by the Representative of Turkey taken together with the statement by the Representative at this meeting, gave the impression that the very basis of the judgment was put into question. Turkey thus needed to indicate clearly to the Committee of Ministers whether it intended to pay the just satisfaction.

The Director of human rights stated that after the payment of just satisfaction had been made, the Committee of Ministers could theoretically decide to close the case. This would, however, imply that the situation of the applicant, who according to the Court is the victim of a continous violation, would not improve. In addition, the Committee of Ministers would not seize the opportunity given by the judgment to contribute to finding a solution of the Cyprus problem. Moreover, the Committee of Ministers would not exercise its function of preventing similar violations of the Convention in the future. As other applications similar to Ms Loizidou’s were pending before the Commission, it was also possible that the Committee of Ministers would have to deal with similar cases in the future.

Regarding the establishment of a property claims commission as suggested by the Representative of Turkey, the Director referred to requests from Delegations for further information and explanations on the possibilities for the Council of Europe to respond to this proposal. He stated that, since as it had already been rejected by Cyprus in the context of the UN negotiations, other propositions would need to be found. The Secretariat could conceive some kind of informal procedures within the Committee of Ministers. As the issue at stake was the execution of the judgments by the Court, this would also have to be the focus of such discussions. These informal procedures would thus also need to be concluded by a decision within the framework of the Committee of Minister’s duties under Article 54 of the Convention.

A full account of interventions made at the 659th meeting appears in the records (CM/Del/Act(99)659).

At the 666th meeting (March 1999), the Representative of Turkey referred to the complex Cyprus question and the ongoing discussions under the auspices of the Secretary General of the UN. The implementation of the judgments in the present case could have direct implications on this problem, which needed to be taken into account by the Committee of Ministers. The Representative referred to Mr Denktas’s proposal, which had been presented at the last meeting, as an important attempt to create the necessary framework for the implementation of the Court’s judgment. He therefore proposed that the Committee of Ministers explore this proposal.

The Representative of Greece stated that he had expected that at the present meeting Turkey would present a concrete proposal and not once more refer to the proposition which had already been rejected by the Deputies at the last meeting. The Representative emphasised that the introduction of this proposal by Turkey was a mere pretext for not paying the just satisfaction.

The Representative of Cyprus pointed out that there was consensus in the Committee of Ministers that the Turkey was bound by the Court’s judgment. Turkey therefore had no other choice than to pay the just satisfaction. The statement made by Turkey concerned issues which did not concern the Committee and could not be considered by it. The stand which had been taken by Turkey was unprecedented in that a member State simply refused to pay the applicant the award granted. The Representative of Cyprus concluded by stating that the Committee, as a supervisory organ, needed to adopt a firm approach and that an interim resolution was called for.

The Representative of the United Kingdom recalled his firm position according to which Turkey must pay the just satisfaction. He asked for proposals from Turkey as to how it was going to comply with its obligations. Regarding Mr Denktas’s proposal, the Representative repeated his question from the last meeting: how did this proposal fit into the overall UN negotiations? The Representative added that the Council of Europe should not duplicate the UN’s work but concentrate on ensuring execution of the Court’s judgments.

The Representative of Turkey replied that Turkey had an excellent record as regards respecting the Court’s judgments. The present case, however, had dimensions far beyond the Loizidou case itself. Turkey intended to honour the judgments but the issue of payment of the just satisfaction could not be isolated from other aspects.

The Representatives of Portugal and Switzerland stated that it was regrettable that Turkey had not provided any new information at the present meeting and that they expected Turkey to honour the Court’s judgment by paying the just satisfaction.

The Representative of Cyprus stated that in the present situation there was no alternative for the Committee other than to adopt an interim resolution. She referred to the proposed Cypriot text for an interim resolution which had been sent to Delegations at the 659th meeting (February 1999).

The Chairman concluded discussions by noting that there was agreement that Turkey must abide by the Court’s judgment and asked the Secretariat to prepare an interim resolution which could be discussed by Deputies at their next meeting.

Following this meeting, the Secretariat prepared a draft interim resolution which appears in Appendix I to the present Notes.

At the 672nd meeting (May 1999), Deputies agreed, as a result of a procedural problem raised by the Delegation of Turkey, to examine more closely in the future the question of how to summarise the contents of the discussion of the meeting of the Deputies.

Turning to the substance of the case, the Representative of Turkey stated that he disagreed with the action proposed in the Notes, as there had been no formal decision by the Committee of Ministers to this effect. The Committee of Ministers needed to take into account the exceptional difficulties in the present case and handle it accordingly.

The Representative of Turkey recalled that the central issue of the Cyprus problem was the issue of property rights. Claims for exchange of property had created the basis for UN negotiations and had been approved by the Security Council. The Loizidou case had therefore already had negative effects on these negotiations. The proposal for the Joint Property Claims Commission as set forth by the Turkish Cypriot side and presented by the Representative of Turkey in an earlier meeting of the Deputies therefore needed to be given serious consideration by the Committee of Ministers.

The Representative of Cyprus stated that it was clear that Turkey would not implement the judgment by paying the just satisfaction. As Turkey was thus not complying with the Court’s judgment the draft interim resolution which had been prepared by the Secretariat should be adopted.

The Representative of Luxembourg confirmed and further specified the position of his authorities, which had been presented already at the last meeting, that the Committee of Ministers, in view of Turkey’s attitude, now needed to consider the adoption of an interim resolution and that he was therefore in favour of discussing the text which had been prepared by the Secretariat. He recalled that he had at the previous meeting declared his preparedness to work either on the draft put forward by the Delegation of Cyprus or on a text prepared by the Secretariat.

In this context the Representative of Luxembourg referred to a booklet from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the title: "The Loizidou case. A dead end" which he had read. As it was stated on page 2 of this document that the "Loizidou case had no chance of being implemented", this confirmed the need for the Committee to react.

The Representative of Luxembourg suggested that the Committee, as a first measure, should ask the Chairman of the Committee to write a letter to the Foreign Minister of Turkey. The response to such a letter would determine whether the Committee of Ministers would need to follow up with an interim resolution. This two-step approach would thus contain first a confidential step and secondly a public step.

A large number of Delegations intervened to support this proposal. It was also suggested that in such a letter the Chairman could refer to the draft interim resolution which was on the table of the Committee of Ministers.

Delegations pointed out that they had received the above-mentioned booklet from the Delegation of Turkey. In the view of some Delegations, the information in this document was seen as a new ingredient, as Turkey’s position appeared to be more clearly stated than it had been in the meetings of the Committee of Ministers. Several Delegations thought it would be reasonable to let Turkey clarify its position, but emphasised that postponing the item to the next meeting should represent the last period of grace which the Committee of Ministers should accord to the respondent State before adopting an interim resolution.

At the request of the Chairman, the Turkish Delegation distributed the booklet to those Delegations which had not received it earlier. The Representative of Turkey explained that this document spelled out the difficulties which the Loizidou case created. In response to a question from a Delegation asking whether Turkey would be willing to negotiate a solution of the Cyprus problem, the Representative of Turkey responded that Turkey was not a party to those discussions.

The Chairman concluded discussions with a summing-up.

Subsequently, the Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart.

At the 677th meeting (July 1999), the Representative of Turkey confirmed that a letter had been transmitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey on 22 June 1999. It was therefore reasonable for the Committee to wait for the Minister’s reply before discussing further action.

The Representative of Cyprus in a statement (see Appendix II) pointed out that soon it would be one year since the Court had pronounced its judgment on just satisfaction. In view of the attitude which Turkey had so far expressed, the prospects for the applicant receiving payment were not promising. The Representative therefore proposed that the Committee, in accordance with the Chairman’s summing-up from the last meeting, examine the draft resolution, which had been prepared for that meeting.

Delegations pointed out that less than a month had passed since the letter from the Chairman had been sent and that Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs should be given some more time to reply. Some delegations expressed a preference for taking up the case again at the next meeting of the Deputies, on 26-27 July 1999, while others preferred to wait until the next Human Rights meeting on 27-28 September 1999.

In this context, Deputies also discussed the examination of the proposed interim resolution. Several delegations stated that in the absence of any payment they supported the adoption of an interim resolution and thus would have been prepared to discuss the text at that meeting. Attention was also drawn to the fact that the Chairman, in his letter to Turkey’s Minister, had mentioned that the Committee was examining a draft resolution. A majority of delegations, however, expressed the view that it would be reasonable not to discuss the interim resolution until the Turkish authorities had been given some more time to reply to the Chairman’s letter.

The Representative of Greece recalled that the Parliamentary Assembly had taken a great interest in the execution of the present judgment. It could therefore be expected that the Assembly at its next meeting, starting on 20 September 1999, would request further information in this respect from the Chairman. In order for the Chairman to be able to provide such information, the Representative suggested that the case be discussed again at the 678th meeting of the Deputies on 8 and 9 September 1999. A great number of delegations supported this proposal.

The Representative of Turkey asked that the Secretariat provide before the next meeting statistical information regarding delays in payment of just satisfaction which had occurred in other cases.

The Director of human rights replied that there was only one case which had some resemblance to the present one, namely Stran Greek Refineries S.A. and S. Andreadis against Greece. The binding character of the judgment and the obligation to pay the award were not challenged by the Respondent State in this case. During the Committee of Minister’s examination of that case, the respondent State had, however, proposed certain modalities of payment which could not be accepted by the Committee of Ministers. Furthermore, eventually Greece paid the just satisfaction awarded, together with the interest due. The Director of human rights stated that the Secretariat would submit information regarding the Committee of Minister’s handling of that case (see document CM/Inf(99)54).

The Chairman concluded discussions by stating that Deputies would resume consideration of the case at their 678th meeting on 8 and 9 September 1999.

APPENDIX I

(item H54-1)

COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

________

 

draft INTERIM resolution DH (99) …

CONCERNING THE JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
OF 28 JULY 1998

IN THE CASE OF LOIZIDOU AGAINST TURKEY

 

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …
at the 678th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers,

Having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 28 July 1998 which ordered Turkey to pay to the applicant before 28 October 1998 specific sums for damages suffered and for costs and expenses ;

Considering that this judgment has been transmitted to the Committee of Ministers for supervision of its execution in accordance with Article 54 of the Convention;

Having regard to the fact that Turkey’s compliance with this judgment has been examined by the Committee of Ministers’ Deputies in subsequent meetings since September 1998;

Considering that the Government of Turkey has indicated that the sums awarded by the European Court could only be paid to the applicant in the context of a global settlement of all property cases in Cyprus and concluding that the conditions of payment envisaged by the Government of Turkey cannot be considered to be in conformity with the obligations flowing from the Court’s judgment ;

Deploring the fact that Turkey has not yet complied with the judgment by paying to the applicant the sums awarded by the Court,

Stressing the obligation undertaken by all contracting States to abide by the judgments of the Court, in accordance with Article 53 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

Strongly urges Turkey to review its position and to pay the just satisfaction awarded in this case in accordance with the conditions set out by the European Court of Human Rights so as to ensure that Turkey, as a High Contracting Party, meets its obligations under the Convention.

APPENDIX II

677th meeting (DH) – 15 July 1999

Item H54-61

H54-61

JUDGMENTS OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

IN THE CASE OF LOIZIDOU AGAINST TURKEY

(Judgments of 18 December 1996 and 28 July 1998)

Application of Article 54

of the European Convention on Human Rights

(CM/Del/Dec(99)672/H54-23, CM/Del/Act(99)659,

CM/Del/Act(98)626, (98)647, (98)654, CM/Del/Act(97)599 Addendum)

The Representative of Cyprus made the following statement:

"Allow me to make a number of comments. First, I would like to thank you, Mr Chairman, on behalf of my authorities and through you, your Minister of Foreign Affairs for sending the letter to the Turkish Foreign Minister. The letter is skilfully drafted and presents the collective demand of this Committee as regards the execution of the judgment on the Loizidou case by Turkey. The letter had also a positive echo in the Parliamentary Assembly, and the parliamentarians are becoming increasingly impatient with the lack of compliance demonstrated by Turkey in this case, as well as in other cases.

We are told by the Representative of Turkey that the time elapsed since receiving the letter until today was not sufficient to prepare a reply. Indeed, Mr Chairman, two weeks can be conceived as a short time if one tries to draft a qualified 'no' as a reply. But, it can also be conceived as adequate time for drafting a reply of a clear 'yes'. The Turkish Representative should be reminded that the second type of reply is expected from his authorities. Any other reply will not be to the liking of this Committee and it will trigger action for deciding further steps to ensure compliance by Turkey.

One further comment I would like to make is that the last two weeks following the signing of the letter, are not the first time that Turkey is made aware of its obligation to pay the just satisfaction awarded to Ms Loizidou. At the end of this month the judgment will be one year old, and through that period repeated discussions in this Committee revealed the wish of all delegations that Turkey abides by the judgment of the Court. So far, the attitude of the Turkish authorities is not promising, to say the least.

This prompts me to suggest that we proceed as it is recorded in the Chairman's Summing-up, and already at this meeting to examine the draft resolution which appears in the Notes on the Agenda."



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