Turkey will not consider paying a fine imposed on the country by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for its 1974 intervention in Cyprus, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"We are not thinking of paying this amount to a country that we do not recognize, Davutoglu said at a press conference on May 13.
In its ruling on a lawsuit filed by Greek Cyprus back in 1994, the ECHR found Turkey guilty on May 12 of violating European human rights agreements, stating that the whereabouts of 1,491 Greek Cypriots was still unknown and that 211,000 Greek Cypriots were forced from their homes after Turkey's intervention in Cyprus in 1974. The ECHR ordered Turkey to pay 30 million euros to be distributed to the living relatives of the missing people, while it said 60 million euros in damages should be paid for "the enclaved Greek-Cypriot residents "of the Karpas peninsula."
However, Davutoglu described the timing of the ruling as "not well intentioned." "The ECHR should rule on all the missing people cases, including the Turks in Turkish Cyprus," he said.
"The timing is unfortunate, the comprehensive peace talks have been dealt a huge blow," Davutoglu added, referring to the recently restarted negotiations between the two sides of the divided island.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also slammed the ECHR ruling.
"In the name of the nation, I call on the prime minister to reject the ECHR ruling and send it back, and declare to all sides that we will closely follow this issue," Bahçeli told his party's parliamentary group meeting May 13.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said late May 12 that the ruling is "deprived of legal ground" while there is no possibility that the verdict will be implemented.
The ruling is "unfair and contrary to the facts of Cyprus, its content has faults and incoherence, is devoid of legal basis and has no possibility of being put into practice amid the continuing conditions in Cyprus," said Bilgiç.
"Turkey will maintain its determined attitude for a permanent solution on the Cyprus issue despite the court's unfair order, which constitutes a new legal error," he said.
Ruling on a lawsuit filed in 1994 by Greek Cyprus, the ECHR found Turkey guilty earlier on May 12 of violating European human rights agreements, saying the whereabouts of 1,491 Greek Cypriots was still unknown and that 211,000 Greek Cypriots were forced from their homes after Turkey's intervention in Cyprus in 1974.