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The EU's top court has backed the right of a Greek Cypriot to reclaim land in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus that has since been sold to a UK couple.Meletis Apostolides was one of thousands of Greek Cypriots who fled his home when Turkish forces invaded in 1974, following a Greek-inspired coup.Archaeological evidence shows that Greek settlement began unsystematically in ca.1400 BC, then steadied (possibly due to Dorian invaders on the mainland) with definite settlements established in ca. The Achaean tribe may have been an original population of the Peloponnese, Pamphylia, and Cyprus, living in the latter prior to the Dorian invasion, and not a subsequent immigrant group; the Doric elements in Arcadian are lacking in Cypriot.Even if the ECJ ruling cannot be enacted because the land is under Turkish Cypriot control, it means Mr Apostolides will be able to pursue a claim for compensation in a UK court.It could also open the way for hundreds more Greek Cypriots to demand restitution for properties they were forced to flee.The majority of Greek Cypriots descend from the Achaeans (particularly from Arcadia) but also from the other three Greek tribes: Ionians, Aeolians and Dorians.
King Amaury, who succeeded his brother Guy de Lusignan in 1194, was particularly intolerant of the Orthodox Church.The island gradually became part of the Hellenic world as the settlers prospered over the next centuries.Alexander the Great conquered the island from the Persians in 333 BC.Some of those houses have been sold by Turkish Cypriots to foreigners, even though the land they were built on was once owned by Greek Cypriots and its legal status remained uncertain.Property disputes dating back to 1974 have been one of the main obstacles to efforts to reunify Cyprus.
After the division of the Roman Empire in 285 AD, Cypriots had home rule for almost nine centuries under the jurisdiction of the Byzantine Empire, something not seen again until 1960.