The judgment by the European Court of Human Rights has filled me with great joy, both as victory for Cyprus and as proof that Europe does recognize justice and does care that justice should be done. I have been waiting for the ruling for six years. When filing the application back in 1989, I knew that this would be a very difficult process that would take at least three years. It is only now after six long and at times extremely painful years, that a decision has been reached.
It is a very important decision, not only for me but for all the Cypriot refugees, and especially for my fellow Kyrenians, who, like me, have not been able to go home and to their properties since 1974. I hope that this judgment will serve as a sign of hope for all Cypriot refugees. For this reason I dedicate this decision to all the people of Cyprus. I should like to thank all the anonymous Cypriots who showed great concern and interest by asking me about the case whenever they met me, making me feel that I had their support and that the case was worth fighting for. I would also like to express my appreciation to the organizers of the "Women Walk Home" movement, as well as to all the women who took part. Their courage and determination were instrumental in my decision to file this application.
I decided to take legal action against Turkey after I was seized by the Turkish army in Lymbia in March 1989 during the "Women Walk Home" march, which had been organized to demonstrate, dynamically but peacefully, the refugees' desire to return to their homes, and their demand for the reunification of our Country.
I would like to thank the Government for its wholehearted support throughout the procedure before the Court. I would also like to thank and congratulate both the present Attorney General Mr Alecos Markides as well as his predecessor Mr Michalakis Triantafyllides for their active participation and promotion of this case, as well as all the lawyers who represented the Republic and who supported my lawyers, Joanna Loizides and Achilleas Demetriades of the Law Office of Lellos Demetriades. Special thanks are due to Professor Ian Brownlie Q.C., for all his efforts. His expertise in International Law was a great asset.
I must also warmly thank and congratulate my lawyer Achilleas Demetriades who first encouraged me to embark on this case. His positive thinking and methodical planning throughout the process were an enormous support to me and ensured that the case finally came before the European Court of Human Rights. I believe that it is largely thanks to his perseverance and unstinting efforts that this positive decision has been achieved.
Last, but not least, I must thank my family without whose support I would not have been able to start: my father, my sisters, and particularly my husband Andreas and my children for all their love, support and patience during this long, painful, but worthwhile, endeavor. I must also say how much the memory of my grandfather Dr. Spyros Charalambides from Kyrenia, has been a continuous source of strength and encouragement for me throughout this period.
Titina A. Loizidou
Nicosia, 18 December 1996