Turkey Returns Real Estate Seized From Religious Minorities

It was almost a blitz. With a surprise move, Turkish Prime Minister, Tayip Erdogan, decided to return thousands of properties seized by the government after 1936 to the non-Muslim foundations.

The “Asianews” agency reported the breaking news explaining also that the publication of the law-decree on the restitution of properties took place yesterday, a few hours before the usual Iftar, the dinner-fest celebrated at the end of the Ramadan fasting day, organized by the non-Muslim religious foundations representative, Lakis Vingas, to celebrate the Prime Minister.

According to estimates, the decree establishes the restitution of one thousand properties to Greek-Orthodox Christians; one hundred to Armenians; several to Chaldean Catholic Christians and Jews.

For Latin Catholics, according to the news agency, there is no restitution planned since they are not a party to the Lausanne treaty. However, according to observers, the step taken with this decree bodes well for the future. The reactions are all positive from several representatives of the various religious minorities.

In the past years, the EU has repeatedly asked Turkey to take steps to repeal discriminatory laws against religious minorities. In a few cases, the European Court for human rights sentenced Turkey to return the properties or compensate their former owners. “We know of the injustices that several religious groups suffered due to their diversity” Erdogan said during yesterday’s Iftar. “The time in which our citizens could be oppressed because of their religion, ethnic origin or different way of life is ended.”

Recent News

1 year 10 weeks ago
1 year 12 weeks ago
3 years 26 weeks ago