European Court says Turkey must pay for Northern Cyprus invasion

A file photo showing people attending the funeral of a mother and her two children in Ergades village, Cyprus. The funeral was held almost 35 years after their disappearance during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974

Turkey must pay €90 million ($123.78 million) in damages to victims of its 1974 invasion of Northern Cyprus, the European Court of Human Rights said Monday, in a judgment that could affect the nascent peace process on the Mediterranean island.

The judgment comes 13 years after the court first found widespread violations of the human rights of victims of the invasion, including thousands who lost their homes and property. At the time, judges said they were unable to decide on compensation claims.

The Strasbourg court said Monday that €30 million in compensation should go to the relatives of 1,456 people who disappeared during the invasion, while €60 million will go to Greek Cypriots living on the Karpas peninsula, the narrow panhandle in the north of Cyprus that was cut off from the rest of the island after the invasion.

Peace talks between the leaders of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey, kicked off in February again after a two-year pause.

Related: Armenians hold mass in Turkish Cyprus, a first in 50 years

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