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Greek-Americans Claim 45 Acres in Topkapi

ozalanitmezar_474_355According to the Turkish newspaper Akşam, eight Greeks currently living in the USA are descendants of Giorgos Panagiotidis, who was a Turkish national and lived in Istanbul.

Now they are asking  for a plot of 45,000 square meters located in Topkapi to be returned to them, as they claim that the plot has been illegally seized by the Turkish government.

This claim aroused the interest of the Turkish media because the tombs and monuments of the former Prime Minister of Turkey, Turgut Ozal, and of the first democratically-elected Turkish Prime Minister, Adnan Menderes, are located in the area in question.

The story began in 1958, when the Turkish government decided for an unknown reason that Panagiotidis, who has passed away in 1954, was missing and had not served the Turkish Army. Under this pretext, the Turkish Finance Ministry seized his assets, including the 45,000-square meter plot.

In 1978, it was discovered that Panagiotidis was a legal Turkish citizen and the confiscation was precipitated by a error in the registry office although it’s not if it wasn’t a deliberate act either. After court battles, the family of the deceased received a small compensation for a small part of his fortune.

Now, the family’s members, with authorizations they have sent from the USA to their lawyer, claim the sovereignty of the whole plot, where the main highway E-5 passes, and where the tombs of Ozal and Menderes are located.

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