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Cyprus land issue

Will the 'Cyprus Issue' affect my purchase of property in North Cyprus? The Cyprus Issue is a complex problem. In 1974 Turkish authorities enforced a military division across Cyprus in response to Greek Cypriot moves that threatened Turkish jurisdiction in the power-sharing government agreement drawn up when Britain relinquished full control over the island in 1960. Known as the 'Green Line', the island division runs from Famagusta in the east through central Nicosia and out to Morphou in the west.

The TRNC government was then formed in the Northern Republic. Greek Cypriots moved south leaving their property, while Turkish Cypriots moved north, leaving their property in the South. Greek Cypriots who owned property in the North claim that Turkish Cypriots are occupying their property illegally. The TRNC however deny this is the situation.

Then in early 2004, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) bought together the leaders of both sides for historic talks that paved the way for a referendum on reunification of the island. The referendum plan supported by Annan limited the ability of Greek Cypriots to try and reclaim their property from the Turkish Cypriots in the North. The referendum took place on 24 April 2004. Sixty-five percent of Turkish Cypriots supported the reunification plan, but an overwhelming amount of Greek Cypriots voted against it. The UN and countries around the world were disappointed with the result, and especially the attitude of the Greek Cypriots. The UN is now actively looking for new ways to support North Cyprus economically until a new agreement can be reached.

With the UN and many countries in the world supporting the Annan plan, where rights of Greek Cypriots to reclaim property are limited, new property buyers should have little to worry about. Deeds belonging to foreign owners in pre-1974 Cyprus, deed belonging to Turkish Cypriots in pre-1974 Cyprus and TRNC absolute possession document deeds awarded to Turkish Cypriots in compensation for their lost property in Southern Cyprus are all considered safe. Land and/or property owned by Greek Cypriots pre-1974 but unclaimed by Turkish Cypriots have no title deeds. This is the only type of purchase considered to be unsafe.


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