THE CASE OF PINELOPI PANA

... Pana succeeded in acquiring a registry deed which recorded the fact that she was a Turkish citizen and that she had never had Greek citizenship ...

... When Ms Pana died, her heirs managed to get out of the court of first instance, secretly and with untold sacrifices, a certificate from a superior court to the effect that her will was "enforceable", and, moreover, "non-appealable" and "ratified" by the 2nd Court of Cassation of Ankara ... and of course they presented this at some stage of the lengthy proceedings. The State sought that this decision should be challenged, which was not possible ... And yet even this happened ... The hearing was transferred to the court which had, supposedly wrongly, executed this will ...

... Of course, it was hardly possible that the court which had itself executed the will should challenge it (!). For the first time in so many years there was a positive development in the case ... a light at the end of the tunnel!

The State appealed to the 2nd Appeal Court of Ankara, the court which had pronounced the decision non-appealable ... How could it challenge it? ... And yet the 2nd Court of Cassation in Ankara annulled the will which had been declared just, lawful and non-appealable ...

Three times the same court of first instance declared the will enforceable and three times the 2nd Appeal Court of Ankara annulled this decision ...

According to Turkish law, after the third time, the Plenum of the Supreme Court convenes and its decision becomes law ... This is what Ottoman law stipulates ... You can imagine what sort of tricks were used in this whole story ...

The second phase of the proceedings began ...

The President of the 2nd Appeal Court, Esat Sener, now produced a new 'firman' and maintained that "all the Romii of Constantinople, those not subjec to exchange of populations, although Turkish citizens, are in reality of Greek descent...".

This decsion reverses the Treaty of Lausanne itself, since it accepts that the non-exchangeable Romii are clearly Turkish citizens, just as the Muslims of Western Thrace are clearly Greek citizens. This view was also upheld by the university professors of Turkey in a special memorandum to the court ... But even they were not paid any attention ...

... The Consul General of Greece in Ankara, Mr Chrysanthopoulos, and later Mr Kaklikis, intervened - young men worthy of their calling, models of courage and decisiveness ... They gave us their guarantee that they would support us to the end ...

... At some stage the Secret Decree itself fell into our hands ... it was taken to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Pankalos ... Pankalos got in touch with the Turkish authorities and asked for an explanation ... they pretended that there ws no secret decree ... When he read it to them, they are dumbfounded ...

Mr Seyssons came to Constantinople immediately and saw Ozal ...

... And that's how the Davos talks started ...

Ozal promised Mr Papandreou that he would change the laws of Turkey, so as to solve the problem with the Pana case ...

... After all this, Ozal called together certain appeal judges and gave them his instructions in connection with this commitment ... the judges, however, took it that the Decree was going to be withdrawn ...

... The President of the 2nd Appeal Court - who had in the meantime changed: Ismet Yanikomeroglu now held the position - called together 33 judges of appeal one night, the number required to issue the following morning a decision by which the Pana case was finally lost (!) - before the official withdrawal of the Secret Decree!

... There was an uproar in the Turkish Press ... you can imagine ...

... They were forced to make a second withdrawal of the Decree, but without retrospective force, and so it could not include the Pana case ...

... There was another row and ... a third decree withdrawing it was issued ...

... The Turkish Press called this 'Elpida's Decree', after the lawyer who had fought this case for so many years ...

... There was an extra-ordinary sitting of the court ... and the State's lawyer came along with an official decision of the Ministry of Finance on the withdrawal of the action ... so that we could finish with it for good and all ...


... AND YET, ALTHOUGH THE CASE OF PINELOPI PANA IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE HAD A FAVOURABLE OUTCOME, NO BUILDING PERMIT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE PANA PROPERTY ... AND THEREFORE IT CAN'T BE SOLD ... SO, YOU SEE ... THANK YOU FOR NOTHING ...