Minority property returns end

Minority property returns end

ISTANBUL - Radikal
The 12-month period for minority foundations to apply for the return of properties expropriated by a 1936 proclamation ended yesterday, with 56 minority foundations applying for 430 immovable properties.

The foundations, which won the right to apply for the return of their properties via a temporary article in the Foundations Law, made petitions for land in Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Bursa, Hatay and Balıkesir.

Some minority representatives, however, said the one-year application was not long enough.

“There are 49-50 Armenian foundations [in Turkey]. I think there is not enough time available for all of these foundations, but I hope they will do their best with good intentions in the future,” Gedikpaşa Armenian Church Foundation Chairman Harut Şanlı said.

“Sometimes we come across lands upon which mosques or health care centers have been built. In such cases, we cannot demand the land. Can you imagine demanding land that has been home to a mosque for 50 years?” he said. “The state does its best for us within this process. Things even I could not imagine have come true. The process is going well and I believe it will have a positive result.”

In the course of reviewing the applications, the Foundations Assembly chose to register 51 immovable properties, pay the cost of one immovable property and rejected the appeal of 32 other properties.

The foundation’s general directorate will review the other applications during scheduled meetings conducted every other week.

“There has been an increase in registration applications within the last few months,” said Laki Vingas, a council member of the Foundations Directorate General. “The things clearly prescribed in the law are being returned. We are noting down the aspects where the law remains inefficient. After the applications are completed, we will announce them to public. The number of applications is low at the moment. So we cannot obtain realistic data now.”