Източнотракийският имуществен проблем. Проучвания, анализи, доказателства 1993–2007
THE PROBLEM OF EAST THRACE REAL ESTATE PROPERTY
The present work deals with a number of questions related to the Bulgarian real estate property in Turkey. The main focus is on the rights of the Bulgarian refugees, the causes preventing the honoring of these rights, and the ways to eliminating them.
The work outlines ten proven truths about the rights of the Bulgarian refugees:
1. The right of ownership of all Bulgarian real estate property on Turkish territory, which has been forcefully taken away and is being illegally used.
2. The rights of the refugees are guaranteed by International Law, as well as the Bulgarian—Turkish bilateral agreements.
3. Turkey's obligations to reinstate the property of the Bulgarian refugees, to pay for any incurred losses and to authorize the return of this property are explicitly outlined in the Bulgarian-Turkish international agreements of 1925.
4. Article В of the above agreements states that only the property of Bulgarians who emigrated from East Thrace in the years 1912-1925 should become Turkish public domain. This does not include the real estate property of Bulgarian refugees.
5. The difference between „refugees" and „immigrants" has been established and documented in accordance with the requirements of the 1926 Protocol of the United Nations Financial Committee.
6. Turkey has taken away and is illegally using the Bulgarian property in complete violation of International Law.
7. The Bulgarians who were deported before 1908 should also keep their right of ownership on their property.
8. Limiting the Bulgarian claims to monetary reimbursement only is illegal and detrimental to the Bulgarian national interests.
9. The claims that Turkey is obligated under the Angora agreement to pay for the Bulgarian real estate property as opposed to returning it are false.
10. The application of both Bulgaria and Turkey for European Union membership, as well as the projected integration of Thrace within the European Union creates a new basis which is beneficial to finding a solution to the problem.
The following are considered to be the main causes hindering the process of finding a solution to the problem:
• Turkey's reluctance to honor the rights of the Bulgarians.
• Insufficient activity and political will on the part of the Bulgarian governments.
• Complications resulting from dissemination of false claims that according to Article В of the Angora agreement of 1925 the refugees' real estate property should remain Turkish public domain.
• For the above causes to be eliminated, it is necessary that the Bulgarian draft agreement of 1991 be brought in compliance with International Law and approved by the Council of Ministers.
• All arguments in proof of the true statements and in refusal of the false claims are supported by facts from authentic documents published mainly in the State Newspaper.
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