International Criminal Court to rule on Turkey’s settlements in Northern Cyprus

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would issue a ruling on the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus before her term ends on June 16, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

Cypriot member of European Parliament Costas Mavrides commenced a suit against Turkey’s settlements in Northern Cyprus in July 2014, represented by pro-Israel NGO Shurat Hadin.

“For a period of seven years, Bensouda has brazenly ignored our communication involving Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus despite all our repeated demands and warnings,” the Jerusalem Post cited Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner as saying.

In the complaint, the Cyprus-based NGO said Turkey’s presence in the northern third of the Mediterranean island was “one of the most brazen settlement enterprises in modern times”.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed talks for a federal system in Cyprus. A two-state agreement would be the only solution for the ethnically-divided island, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10, ahead of a five-party conference on Cyprus to be hosted by the United Nations in March.

Next month, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is expected to bring together Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as Greece, Turkey and Britain as guarantor countries to assess the possibility of resuming talks.

Cyprus remains divided since 1974, when Turkey sent troops to the island to counter a Greek-backed coup. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot leadership proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey. Numerous diplomatic initiatives aimed at reunifying the island have taken place since 1974, but none have thus far succeeded.

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