Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010 - Cyprus

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 23 March 2011
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010 - Cyprus, 23 March 2011, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Quick facts
Number of IDPsUp to 208,000
Percentage of total populationUp to 23%
Start of current displacement situation1974
Peak number of IDPs (Year)210,000 (1975)
New displacement0
Causes of displacementArmed conflict, deliberate policy or practice of arbitrary displacement, generalised violence, human rights violations
Human development index35

People were last displaced in Cyprus as a result of conflict in 1974. Groups backed by Greece's military junta ousted the Cypriot leader and Turkey sent troops to the island in response. The island has since been effectively divided between areas under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus (GRC) and the authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the latter recognised only by Turkey. The conflict is still unresolved and the return of IDPs to their original homes remains impossible despite continuing negotiations.

The TRNC maintains that there are no IDPs in areas under its control, on the basis that internal displacement ended with a 1975 population exchange agreement. The GRC reported at the end of 2010 that around 208,000 people had displaced person status in the area under its control, including 83,000 people born to men with the displaced status.

In areas under the control of the GRC, people with displaced person status continued to be eligible for assistance. Discrimination in access to the status continued, as the children of women with the status were not eligible. In 2010, the Supreme Court reserved judgement on the validity of constitutional amendments to rectify this discrimination. Meanwhile, displaced people living in the TRNC received no assistance.

During 2010, steps were taken to uphold the rights of people dispossessed of their property. The European Court of Human Rights confirmed the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) of the TRNC as the first instance body for claims to property in TRNC territory. By the end of 2010, the IPC had concluded and mostly implemented over 135 of some 850 applications lodged. For its part, the GRC amended the Turkish Cypriot properties law, so that Turkish Cypriot owners living outside TRNC could claim their property in areas under the control of the GRC.

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