Washington, D.C.- On Monday, October 19, 2009, a Class Action lawsuit is being filed against the Republic of Turkey for depriving hundreds of thousands of property owners their rights to use and enjoy their property in the occupied northern Cyprus. This lawsuit seeks compensation for the denial of the use and enjoyment of the properties belonging to approximately 200,000 refugees and others who were forced to leave by military force, some of whom paying with their lives, by the Republic of Turkey in concert with its puppet regime, “TRNC”. The Turkish military equipment used to wrongfully occupy and displace the Plaintiffs and the Class from their property was sold and originated from the United States that by law requires that U.S. military equipment acquired by Turkey not be used in an offensive manner.
This lawsuit is being filed by Washington, D.C.-based attorney Athan T. Tsimpedes, the founding partner of the Tsimpedes Law Firm, who represents U.S. Citizen Michael Toumazos, along with Nicolas Kancilaris and Marula Tumazos residing in Cyprus. In the petition, Chimbidis referred to the law that allowed opening a court case against another country in the United States.
According to press reports, the Greek Cypriot applicants asked for nearly $400 billion in compensation. It was also reported that the application claimed that international real estate company RE/MAX International and HSBC Bank aided in and benefited from the illegal use of Greek properties in Turkish Cyprus.
Members of the community will have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Tsimpedes on Monday, November 9, 2009, 8:15 pm, at the Pancyprian Sports Lounge, 2315 31st Street, Astoria NY. For more information, 718-545-7202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s unsure how far the case will go, given that similar cases that have been filed before were rejected, one involving Cyprus and the other – tried by the US Supreme Court – involved Saudi Arabia. Athan Tsimpedes, as it is explained on his web page, intends to use exceptions of the FSIA Act of 1976.
As he says, “Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is a United States law enacted in 1976. The Act enables Foreign States, their political subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities to be sued in federal or state courts in the United States. The FSIA defines the conditions necessary to bring legal action against a foreign state in the U.S. and constitute an exception to the immunity of sovereign foreign states.1 The most common exceptions to Foreign Sovereign Immunity are when the foreign state waives immunity and/or submit the dispute to arbitration, engages in a commercial activity, commits a tort in the U.S. or expropriates property in violation of international law, as has been the case in Cyprus. The FSIA is applicable retroactively, which is to say that legal action is admissible into court that deals with issues that date prior to the enactment of the FSIA in 1976. Commercial Activity Exception to FSIA is of crucial importance with respect to Cyprus and all the property that has been expropriated illegally on the Northern parts of the island following the Turkish invasion in 1974. When the plaintiff’s claim bases itself upon commercial activity by the foreign state that takes place outside the U.S., id est Cyprus, in connection with commercial activity outside the U.S. and which causes a direct effect in the U.S., the commercial activity exception to the FSIA applies and the foreign state can be sued in courts in the U.S. as a result. The legal precedent for commercial activity exemption from the FSIA is largely due to the landmark case of Kirkham v. Air France.2 A ticket that Mrs. Kirkham purchased in the U.S. to fly to France gave rise to a duty of care and the following severe personal injuries in France when in transit between connecting flights to her final destination provided Mr. Tsimpedes as her attorney with the necessary nexus to invoke commercial activity exception to the FSIA and enabled him to prosecute Air France and thereby the State of France (majority shareholder of Air France) in the United Stated District Court in Washington, DC.”