The Turkish government announced Tuesday it will not pay 90 million euros to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg yesterday that asked Turkey to pay to Cypriot citizens for human rights abuses committed in 1974 during the military invasion of northern Cyprus, and warned the verdict is a blow to the reunification of the divided island.
“We are not planning on paying this amount to a country that does not recognize,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a press conference in Ankara, rejecting the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Strasbourg judges sentenced Turkey to pay compensation to 30 million euros to the relatives of 1,491 missing after the invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish Armed Forces, and with 60 million Greek Cypriots who were under its control Karpasia peninsula.
Davtoglu described the ruling as “unfortunate ” for the time in which it was issued, noting that is “a huge blow” to reunification negotiations currently taking place between the leaders of the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member and controlling Sir Greek Cypriot island, and the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. “the Court should rule on the cases of the disappeared, including the Turks of Northern Cyprus,” said the minister.
Riza Türmen, the European Court of Human Rights judge, said yesterday that the judgment is binding, although Davutoglu denies. Türmen said Turkey can not refuse to pay, as a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights and as such is committed to abide by the opinion of the Court.