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AIPP gets tough on North Cyprus agents

The Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) has warned its members that they could be ejected if they continue to sell property in the areas of Cyprus under Turkish military occupation.

AIPP members could face expulsion from the trade body if they refuse to stop selling homes in Northern Cyprus.

The UK-based organisation already prevents entry to companies who market homes in the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus.

But at its annual general meeting last week, the AIPP decided to extend the ban to its existing membership.

CEO Mark Sharp stressed that the decision would make the group’s policy consistent and was not designed as a political statement.

We could count the number of members this affects on the fingers of one hand,” he told OPP.

Legal change

Members that sell property in Northern Cyprus will be given a timeframe in which to stop and will be subject to disciplinary sanctions – including possible expulsion – if they don’t.

The North’s property industry has been under scrutiny since British couple David and Linda Orams were sued by the original Greek Cypriot owner of the land their holiday home was built on.

The case came to a head earlier this year when a European Court ruling forced the couple to abandon the property and schedule a demolition. Thousands more foreign owners are thought to be at similar risk.

Sharp refused to comment on the fact that some agents claim to be able to source property with pre-1974 title deeds.

We were waiting for legal clarification in the form of the Orams case and now we have to make a stand,” he said.

What we have said is that if the situation does change we would look at it again.

New board

The AIPP also welcomed six new board members at the meeting: Stuart Law of Assetz, Nick Turner of The Registry Collection, Ray Withers of Property Frontiers, Ayse Ozcan of Acacia International, Andrea Marston of Montenegro Prospects, and Dave Burgess of The Hotel Investment Company.

Lindsay Hopkins and Sue Ash were reappointed to the Board having retired by rotation, with Hopkins to serve a second year as the AIPP’s Chair.

Overseas Property Professional

Readers' comments

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  • suleyman tosun says:

    We own property in the south we have deeds but our property has been bulldozed houses have been build on it. We also had Water reservoir for watering plants all was demolished by Greek Cypriots and we have now live in London we know so many Turkish Cypriots who lost land in Larnaca Paphos Limassol and villages. It is unfair that Greek Cypriots use Law when they made us leave our homes by force bombed our home where my mum got injured and she still suffering due to that mortar bombing of our house.

  • Christoph says:

    About time to come down hard on those who traffic in property stolen as a result of the Turkish invasion and Ethnic Cleansing. The Orams have been introduced to the exit door, but there are plenty of others who need to be handled similarly. This is a good move and more needs to be done.

  • VingeHugo says:

    It seems that the AIPP are a little behind the times and out of touch with reality. This sort of action MAY have been appropriate in the past with the uncertainty which was highlighted by the Oram’s case. But since then there has been an ECHR ruling which approved the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) as a valid remedy for Greek Cypriots with claims on land in the North. The IPC provides compensation to claimants or the possibility of restitution but the ECHR also made it clear that the IPC was entitled to respect the rights of any current users as a priority. In effect the IPC addresses the North Cyprus property issue along the lines of the Annan Plan, supported by the North but voted out by the South.

    This has made the North Cyprus property market safer for purchasers than it has been for over 20 years.

    It would be interesting to understand how the AIPP are dealing with property agents in the South of Cyprus. In addition to the well published problems with deeds I wonder how many agents are selling land/property which belongs to Turkish Cypriots who were driven out of their homes in the Greek-led coup which precipitated the Turkish intervention. The claim is that all this property is waiting for the return of the rightful owners but this is demonstrably not the case. And neither have the Greek Cypriot government established a fair mechanism for these Turkish Cypriot refugees to claim back their property or receive compensation.

    The decision is clearly political, despite what Mr Sharp says and he would be well advised to “look at it again” as the situation has definitely moved on some significant way since the Orams case.

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