Police evicted the tenant of a conference hall-restaurant in Mackenzie area, Larnaca on Thursday morning.
According to CNA, the Custodian of Turkish Cypriot property, acting on a Larnaca District Court order, evicted the Greek Cypriot tenant of the property in order to hand it back to its Turkish Cypriot owner.
Local businessmen gathered outside the area on Thursday morning to protest against the decision and claimed that they will lose their own properties which also belong to Turkish Cypriots.
Philenews reported that there was heavy police presence in the area.
“As if it was a crime scene, around 100 policemen entered the property, removed the staff and sealed the building,” the businessmen told philenews.
According to the Larnaca District Court decision, the property had wrongfully came under the control of the Custodian of Turkish Cypriot in the first place as the owners are British citizens.
The original owner of the property, Fikret Ali Riza, was born in Nicosia in 1926 and migrated to London in 1951, nine years before the Republic of Cyprus was founded. Before he died in 2000, he had transferred the property to his son Raymond Riza, who was born in Britain in 1955.
Thus, the Court ruled that the Custodian had wrongfully rented out half of the property to the Greek Cypriot tenant who built the conference hall there.
The other half of the property belongs to Fikret Ali Riza’s brother who has also passed away.
According to the decision, the Greek Cypriot tenants are not allowed to rent, enter and use the 1/2 of the property, which belongs to Raymond Riza.
Also, the Court ordered the Republic to remove all construction from the property.
The decree was issued in January 2016. The tenant was ordered to evacuate the property by June 2016 and to suspend the conference hall’s use until then.
The tenant’s side claim that there eviction order was against the Ministry of Interior, not his client. He added that he will forward the matter to the Ombudsman.
In a written announcement the Interior Ministry said that it had acted in compliance with the decisions of the courts.
Under current law, property belonging to Turkish Cypriots permanently resident in the Turkish-occupied north is managed by the custodian of Turkish Cypriot properties which is under the Interior Ministry. Properties are rented by the Custodian, with priority going to refugees.