Turkey ordered to pay 90m euros over Cyprus invasion

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Turkish troops in Cyprus, 1974Image source, AP
Image caption,
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 led to the island's partition

Turkey must pay 90m euros (£73m; $123m) in damages over its 1974 invasion of Cyprus, according to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights.

The judgement is one of the largest ever ordered by the court.

It said the damages were compensation for losses endured during the invasion and in the subsequent partition.

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 government of Greece.

Since then, the northern third has been mainly inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots.

Reunification push

In Monday's ruling, the European Court of Human Rights found that Turkey was still liable for damages, despite the passage of time.

The court ruled that Turkey should pay 30m euros for the suffering endured by relatives of people who had gone missing during the invasion.

It ordered Turkey to pay a further 60m euros for the suffering of Greek Cypriots who live in the Karpas peninsula - an enclave within northern Cyprus.

Turkey has not always complied with previous rulings by the body, Europe's top court of human rights.

Turkey still has around 30,000 troops stationed on the island, and it is the only country that recognises northern Cyprus as a separate entity.

UN peacekeeping forces estimate that 165,000 Greek Cypriots fled or were expelled from the north, and 45,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south, although the parties to the conflict say the figures are higher.

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders are engaged in a new round of talks aimed at reconciling differences and reuniting the island.

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