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ECHR holds Turkey responsible for deaths of Greek Cypriots

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] unanimously ruled [press release] against Turkey Tuesday in two cases concerning the deaths of Greek Cypriots. Anastasios Issac [ruling] was killed at a 1996 protest, and Solomos Solomou [ruling] was shot at Issac's funeral; the ECHR found that Turkish agents were responsible for both deaths. The court held that Turkey had violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text], in failing to protect the right to life and in failing to mount an adequate investigation into the deaths, and ordered Turkey to pay 340,000 euros to the victims' families. Reuters has more.

Tensions between ethnic Turks and Greeks in Cyprus have long been high. Cyprus split into two areas, the Greek controlled south and the Turkish controlled north [TRNC website], when Turkey invaded the island in 1974 to quell a coup by supporters of a union with Greece. Attempts to reunite the island have thus far been unsuccessful. In 2004, Turkish and Greek negotiators failed to agree [JURIST report] on a plan to reunify Cyprus ahead of its entry into the EU.

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