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Northern Cyprus: Property

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on the advice given to British citizens seeking to purchase a property in northern Cyprus; what steps the Government have taken to promulgate that advice; and if he will make a statement. (156202)

Through Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice, the Government offers comprehensive guidance on the risks involved in purchasing property in northern Cyprus. This advice is regularly updated to reflect developments. We also provide advice over the phone to members of the public calling both the FCO and our High Commission in Nicosia.

We believe that the difficult and complex issue of property is only likely to be fully resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement and we urge both sides to engage constructively with the United Nations to enable settlement negotiations to start as soon as possible. In our contacts with the Turkish Cypriot leadership, we recognise the Turkish Cypriots’ need for economic development in support of reunification. But we urge them to ensure that any property development which does take place does so in a manner that is both environmentally sustainable and does not complicate an eventual solution.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of properties (a) built and (b) under construction by property developers in northern Cyprus in each of the last five years which are available for purchase. (156204)

The Government have not estimated the number of properties which have been built or which are under construction in northern Cyprus. However, significant property development in northern Cyprus has taken place over the last five years resulting in large numbers of new properties being built. We believe that the difficult and complex issue of property is only likely to be fully resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement and we urge both sides to engage constructively with the United Nations to enable settlement negotiations to start as soon as possible. In our contacts with the Turkish Cypriot leadership, we recognise the Turkish Cypriots’ need for economic development in support of reunification. But we urge them to ensure that any property development which does take place does so in a manner that is both environmentally sustainable and does not complicate an eventual solution.