Colonisation by Turkish settlers of the occupied part of Cyprus
Recommendation 1608 (2003)

Doc. 10372
15 December 2004

Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 908th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (7 December 2004)

1.                  The Committee of Ministers pays tribute to the active interest which the Parliamentary Assembly has steadily shown since 1974 for the situation in Cyprus and the many recommendations it has adopted with a view to contributing in finding a settlement of the Cyprus issue.  It has taken note of Recommendation 1608 (2003) regarding the issue of colonisation by Turkish settlers of the occupied part of Cyprus.

2.                  With regard to paragraph 7, point i of Recommendation 1608 (2003), the European Population Committee (CAHP) informed the Committee of Ministers in December 2003 that “the conduct of a population census was not within the terms of reference of the Committee and that it does not have the necessary financial and human resources for such an operation”. At the same time, however, the CAHP “expressed its readiness to assist with the monitoring of the census in Cyprus together with other international organisations”. Bearing in mind that the Council of Europe has been involved in monitoring two censuses in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and has recently been given sole responsibility for the observation and evaluation of the census in Moldova, the Committee of Ministers would therefore be fully prepared to consider any request that the Council of Europe participate in the international observation and evaluation of a future census in Cyprus.

3.                  With regard to paragraph 7, points ii and iii of Recommendation 1608 (2003), the Committee of Ministers would like to inform the Parliamentary Assembly that the Council of Europe Development Bank participated at the pre-donors Conference on Cyprus organised by the European Commission on 15 April 2004 in Brussels.  After the failure of the parallel and simultaneous referenda on the Annan Plan, a planned Donors Conference was cancelled by the European Union.

4.         With regard to paragraph 7, point iv of Recommendation 1608 (2003), the Committee of Ministers is concerned and preoccupied with the situation and calls for the cessation of the problem.  It stresses that the Council of Europe stands ready to provide any expertise required.

5.         With regard to paragraph 7, point v, the Committee of Ministers, in the context of its supervision of the execution under Article 46, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the judgments on property rights in relevant State and individual cases against Turkey, has consistently insisted on full compliance with the judgments and assures the Assembly that this will continue to be its approach.

6.         Concerning paragraph 7, point vi of Recommendation 1608 (2003), concrete projects on media and the reform of history teaching are currently being implemented inter alia in the framework of the Council of Europe confidence-building measures and involving the civil society of both the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot community. In particular with regard to the reform of history teaching, a first conference was held on 10 and 11 June 2004 with participants from both communities.  A follow-up activity took place in Strasbourg on 13 and 14 September 2004.