European court rules against Greece in favor of Turkish minority

July 04, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:03:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A group of Western Thrace Turks from Greece have won a lawsuit against Greece at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on a claim of unlawful confiscation of their properties.

Finalizing the decision over a case filed by Hulusi Zaim Buyan and 13 associates, regarding the underpriced nationalization of their properties and delayed payment, the ECtHR ruled Greece’s violation of the sixth article of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on the right to a fair trial and the first article of the first additional protocol of the same convention concerning the protection of property.

According to the court’s ruling, Greece will pay a total of € 37,000 in compensation to eight of the 14 parties to the lawsuit.

Greece elected a new government in June, and Turkish officials including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned the government about the protection of Turkish minority rights in Greece. Also Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli stated during a visit to Greece that the principles of minority rights imposed on Turkey as part of its EU accession should first be implemented by Greece in Western Thrace.

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