Greeks in Istanbul welcomed Erdogan’s decision to return confiscated property to minorities, with tears of joy in their eyes.
As the representative of minority institutions under the General Directorate for Foundations and member of the Greek minority of Istanbul, Lakis Vingas, stated to Newsit; “yesterday was a historic day. Mr. Erdogan’s determination is one of a leader, as the issue was solved by a government decision and did not go through general assembly. This is evidence to Mr. Erdogan’s consistency in the progress of issues, faced by minorities here for many decades. We neither received a gift, nor compensation; we simply took back what belonged to us. This is justice and what we have been waiting for. We are now in the third phase of the return of minority properties and are very satisfied.
From now on, we should be mindful not only for the return of property, but also for the proper management and future course of the entire property. For us, for example, the return of the Galata School is very important. In addition, a large property we own in the Kantyli community, some Monasteries and other properties and of course cemeteries”.
Mr. Lakis Vingas represents the council for Armenian, Syrian – Chaldean and Greek foundations in Istanbul. As he stated himself, minorities in the past were afraid to even enter the threshold of the General Directorate, but now, thanks to the effort for harmonization with EU law, things are changing. Lastly, he added that, particular attention should be paid to the future of minority foundations in Turkey.
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