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Buyers beware about northern Cyprus
 
Britons are driving an unprecedented property boom in northern Cyprus; but few realise they risk losing everything as land disputes escalate.

Despite the fact that the north part of Cyprus has been occupied by the Turkish Army since 1974 and is an internationally unrecognized state subject to international trade embargoes it seems that from time to time it is gaining more and more consideration by potential opportunists.
Recently, Cyprus has joined EU and as a result many British investors thought they had found an ideal opportunity to proceed on buying property in seeking a potential gain.

What they have not taken into consideration is the ultimate risk that they inevitably are going to face since the land is owned by Greek Cypriots and in implicit reunification of the island merely they will lose their money. While the potential gains are not negligible, the associated risks of investing in this internationally unrecognized state are extremely high. The fact is that the buyers are dealing in a stolen property. The majority of houses, which are being bought by the British investors, are built on the land that 163,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to abandon when Turkish Troops invaded northern Cyprus. Furthermore, the UN has given assurances that the Greek Cypriots who lost property as a result of the Turkish occupation would be likely to receive financial compensation. Robotically, is raised the issue of what action the Britons will take when they found out that the level of compensation is far greater than the amount that had been anticipated

Will they still want to get to keep ‘their’ homes? The calculations will be based on a similar size property or plot of land in southern Cyprus where the property prices are significantly higher. Even worst, are they willing to face legal action by the Greek Cypriot owners of property or plot land? The property rush in northern Cyprus looks likely to continue and whether Cyprus is unified or not in the future, the land rights issue is not only unlikely to go away but has been proven valid in many international courts of justice. Yet Britons chasing a slice of paradise and a fast penny are stepping into a political quagmire.

Words from Carolyn Watt.