Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 4 Haziran 2007 Saat : 5:29


The decision in the Myra Xenides-Arestis case of December 2006, for which there had been an application for referral to the Grand Chamber by both Turkey and the applicant, has not been accepted and the judgment [of December 2006] became final. Concerning the ownership of this property, her grandfather, Mr. Mavrodi Haji Hambi Mavreli, managed to register illegally — probably with trickery, this property to his name on Sept. 15, 1913, in the land registry office of Cyprus, although it was already the property of a Mulhaq Vakf, named Abdullah Pasha.

After 35 years, on Oct. 5, 1949, he granted this property to his daughter Anna Mavroudi Haji Hambi and finally Mrs. Hambi granted this very property to her daughter, then Mira Xenidu, on Feb. 28, 1974.

This is a representation of the property fraud and spoliation that happened in Cyprus with regard to Turkish-owned land.
If the compensation for the violation of Mrs. Arestis’ property and home rights for the past 33 years is around 2 million euros, then the compensation for the past 94 years of spoliation should be around 6 million euros, plus interest.
The decisions of the Court of Famagusta, concerning the files 271/2000 and 272/2000, clearly state that around 90 percent of Va-rosha, in the Famagusta district, belongs to the Abdullah Pasha Vakf (Foundation) and the Lala Mustapha Pasha Vakf. The previously men-tioned property of Mrs. Arestis is also one of the lands owned by the Abdullah Pasha Vakf.
Surprisingly, the documents to prove the ownership of the above mentioned property were never submitted to the court by the KKTC authorities and the original deeds by Mrs. Aresti. She only claimed to be the owner of the property by submitting a document, written and stamped by the Ministry of the Interior, stating she was the owner.

During the British period, when the island was under Imperial governance, some of the properties, including the Vakf properties, we-ren’t properly registered in the Land Register. The then Government of Cyprus issued the “Registration and Valuation of Immovable Property (12/1907)” rule in 1907, to enable the registration of these properties.
While this law protected the rights of the properties owned by the Orthodox Churches, it contained some items against some specific type of Vakf properties, irrespective of the Protocol dated July 1, 1878 annexed to the Defense Treaty Agreement of June 4, 1878 and signed by Great Britain and Ottoman Empire and principles of Ahkamul Evkaf, which was in effect on the island since 1571.
Of course, while this new rule was put in effect without taking into consideration these contradictory items, the Ottoman Sharia Judicial System and Ottoman rules were still prevailing. This means that the properties owned by the Ottoman Vakfs all over the island of Cyprus, including the ones in Varosha, were still under the rule of Ottoman Land Law. The Principles of Ahkamul Evkaf are still in effect today.
Although this new rule (12/1907) was edited in the English lan-guage, all the relevant law terms used were in Ottoman.
Under this rule, item 29, which regulates the Vakf properties, gives the right of ownership to the lessees renting the properties of Arazi-Mevcoufe and Idjareten Mevcoufe type of Vakfs after possessing it for more than 10 years, if not claimed by the relevant Vakfs.
But both Vakfs, the Abdullah Paska Vakf and the Lala Mousta-pha Pasha Vakf are “Mulhaq” type of Vakfs and cannot be included in the item 29 of law 12/1907.
In the original title deed of Mrs. Aresti, the owner of the property is clearly written as “Abdullah Pasha” and this Vakf is classified as “Mulhaq Vakf.”
Not any rule in the island, either Ottoman or English, even today allows sales or granting of the Mulhaq Vakfs.
It is very obvious that the grandfather of Mrs. Arestis registered this property to his name illegally and against the rules and regulations of the Ottoman Empire, British Empire, Government of Cyprus and the Ahkamul Evkaf.
The Directorate of Vakfs of the KKTC, should take the case to the Court of Famagusta and have a court decision amend the ownership of the property unlawfully owned by Mrs. Myra Xenides-Arestis, and re-register it to the name of Abdullah Pasha Vakf, as it was originally.
She should then be prosecuted and asked for 6 million euros in compensation for the unlawful use of the property for the past 96 years.

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