On May 12, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the Turkish government to pay €30 million to Greek Cypriot families of missing persons while the remaining €60 million were ordered to be given to Greek Cypriots living in the Karpass Peninsula in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, however, refused to pay the compensation, saying that the verdict did not bind Turkey in any way and that Turkey could not pay the money to the Greek Cypriot administration as it is not legally recognized by Turkey.
The decision was also slammed by the TRNC government, with Turkish Cypriot deputy prime minister Serdar Denktas calling the verdict a one-sided attempt to strengthen the Greek Cypriot position in the ongoing peace talks. He also stated his belief that the Turkish Cypriots should no longer sit at the negotiation table with the Greek Cypriots.
Dr. Daud Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, has criticized the ECHR for its double-standards on Turkey and Israel.
In his column for the Middle-East Monitor, Dr. Abdullah pointed out that while the ECHR fines Turkey €90 million for alleged human rights violations against the Greek Cypriots during its 1974 Cyprus military operation, the court continues to ignore violations carried out by Israel against the Palestinians.
* * *
Of course, any such payments would have to be part of mutually agreed peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, and that is not in sight. One might even suggest – radical, I know – that payments to Jews evicted from Arab countries post-1948 be considered!