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June, 2010

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Lawyer Athan Tsimpedes speaks about lawsuit to Canadians 

 By James Karas

Toronto. Cypriots are suing the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in the United States for the deprivation of their property after the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974.


Athan Tsimpedes, an American lawyer of Greek descent based in Washington, D.C., started the lawsuit last year.


Mr. Tsimpedes was in Toronto last week at the invitation of the Canadian Justice for Cyprus Committee (PSEKA Canada) and the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario and explained the ramifications of the lawsuit to attendees at the Macedonian Cultural Centre in Toronto.


One of the plaintiffs in the action is an American resident of Cypriot descent and the other two live in Cyprus but because this is a class action, they are suing on behalf of everyone similarly affected by the invasion and occupation., explained Mr. Tsimpedes.


The main defendant is the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC), the pseudo state set up in the occupied territory. Tsimpedes pulls no punches in his description of the TRNC. In court documents, he refers to the TRNC in its continuous interference and use of other people’s property as “more closely associated with an illegal criminal syndicate than that of a government.”


The other defendant in the action is HSBC Bank and Mr. Tsimpedes accuses it of helping TNRC launder money illegally obtained from the property of the Cypriot refugees. 


The TRNC purports to have an “embassy” in Washington D.C. even though the pseudo state has not been recognized by the U.S.A. or any other country in the world for that matter, except Turkey. What is worse, both Turkey and the TRNC maintain their occupation of northern Cyprus with American weapons, according to Mr. Tsimpedes. American law prohibits the use of American weapons for offensive purposes but that is precisely what Turkey did in 1974 when it invaded northern Cyprus.


For those concerned that by suing the TRNC, Mr. Tsimpedes was giving it implicit or explicit recognition, he emphasized that the lawsuit was doing no such thing. He is simply suing it for the damages suffered by the plaintiffs.  Mr. Tsimpedes emphasized recognition can only come by way of the executive branch of the United States Government and not through the courts as it involves foreign relations.


People who have lost property may join the class action by paying an administrative fee of $300.00 US if they have up to three deeds to property and $600.00 US if they have more than three deeds. The law firm is taking the action on a contingency fee basis which means that the lawyers will be paid, aside from the administrative fee, only if they are successful. The law firm will charge 25% of the gross amount recovered.


Asked how he intends to collect on any judgment, Mr. Tsimpedes explained that HSBC is the TRNC’s bank and he can seize the pseudo state’s accounts very easily.


Those interested in more information or in joining the class action may get in touch with Tsimpedes Law Firm at or 202-772-3159