Revisiting the property issue

Led by Mete Hatay

Jan 2019 –


The unresolved issue of displaced persons' property is one of the thorniest and most complex in the Cyprus dispute. Negotiations to resolve the Cyprus conflict invariably get bogged down in how to resolve the problem of property. In the past, both sides took intransigent positions in negotiations: in the south, the position for several decades was that all properties should be returned to their original owners; in the north, the position was that there should be an exchange of properties and compensation. As time has passed, and with the results being felt of decisions in the European Court of Human Rights, the parameters of potential solutions to the property issue have changed considerably. This project provides an assessment of the parameters of the property issue today: basic positions; international legal possibilities; and the effects of property markets on the problem. The project builds on a 2006 PRIO Cyprus Centre report, The Politics of Property in Cyprus, which has become a standard reference for researchers attempting to understand this complex problem. The project assesses changes on the ground since that report was written and includes a survey on both sides of the island to assess positions on the property issue today. We know that positions on the property issue have been contextual, based on changing circumstances, including international legal decisions. The survey evaluates the views of the two communities today for the resolution of this complex problem.

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