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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 19:24 GMT
Turkey compensates Cyprus refugee
Turkey has paid more than $1m compensation to a Greek Cypriot woman whose property was seized when Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus in 1974.

Titiana Loizidou won her case at the European Court of Human Rights in 1998 after filing it 24 years ago.

She had been forced to leave her home in Kyrenia, northern Cyprus, and move to the southern part of the island.

But Turkey had resisted the decision, saying it would jeopardise attempts to settle similar claims.

'Fulfilling responsibility'

The Turkish foreign ministry said it had reached an "understanding" with the Council of Europe that the case would not set a precedent for more than 600 similar cases pending with its Court.

"Although we see the decision as unjust and wrong, fulfilling the decision means fulfilling the joint responsibility we have to protect the respectability of the European Court of Human Rights," it said.

The ministry said that paying the sum had removed an "obstacle" to good relations with the Council and the European Union.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Greek Government.

The Turkish invasion effectively partitioned the island with the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern part by Greek Cypriots.

Recently, the prospect of European Union expansion has led to increased attempts to find a solution to the island's situation, correspondents say.

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