New book published on abandoned property
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Lawyer Elbeyoğlu will publish a book on Armenians’ abandoned assets. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GürelLawyer Ali Elbeyoğlu is set to release a book on a Turkish law on Armenians’ abandoned property, after being granted access to the parliamentary archives.
For the book, Elbeyoğlu examined Turkish and Ottoman files on the law, the “Emval-i Metruke,” which regulated the ownership rights of properties abandoned by Armenians after the 1915 incidents.
He said he had experienced no problems in accessing the files, which are kept in the archives of the Turkish Parliament.
“There is a serious archive, which dates back 500 years,” Elbeyoğlu said, adding that the documents were very well preserved.
He said the former owners of the properties could file lawsuits to reclaim them, but added that repeat lawsuits opened outside of Turkey were “irrelevant.” He particularly recalled a case opened in the United States by members of the Armenian diaspora over lands in Adana, where the İncirlik base is currently located, saying that this case could only have led to a positive result if it had been opened in Turkey.
Elbeyoğlu highlighted that the “Emval-I Metruke” should not be confused with the content of a 2011 decree that ruled for the return of confiscated property from minority foundations, saying that the older law is related to properties belonging to individual people.
He said the 100th anniversary of the 1915 incidents could see several lawsuits opened, and added that Turkey should “deal with the issue if it wants to be a democratic country.” He also stressed that the issue was not only limited to Armenians, but also related to Greeks, Syriacs and even a number of Muslim Turks as well.