European court ruled for Southern Greek in land ownership dispute

On April 28, 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) upheld a southern Cyprus court's ruling [PDF] in favor of a Greek Cypriot claiming northern land despite the south's lack of control over the region. The northern part of Cyprus was, and continues to be, governed and occupied by Turkish Cypriots opposed to the Greek Cypriots who occupied and governed the south. Though the land in dispute had been taken from the plaintiff's family during the partition of the island and subsequently bought by a British couple from a third party, the court found the plaintiff to be the rightful owner. Previous efforts made to unite the two groups were unsuccessful, leading to the prediction that this ruling could spur similar legal claims and also increase opposition against attempts to reunify the two sides.

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