Turkey "unearths" Ottoman title deeds for the Aegean islands

Turkey Aegean Islands Ottoman deeds

Ottoman title deeds to Aegean Islands are being "unearthed" by the Turks to reinforce their narrative of non-Greek sovereignty over them due to their "militarisation" by Greece.

With its publication, the pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak presents cadastral documents - from the Ottoman Archives - concerning Greek islands, and included in 324 books concerning the years 1847 and 1912.

In the books there is information about the province, the village, the neighbourhood, the size, the date of acquisition, the name of the owner, etc. of each property.

Turkey Aegean Islands Ottoman deeds

"Records dating back to the Ottoman Empire about the islands that Greece turned into weapons depots - in violation of agreements when they should have been in a demilitarised state - are preserved in Turkey," the publication wrote, quoting by the head of the archive's Research Department, Hakkı Şahin.

"In the archives of the Land Registry there are 721 cadastral books that belong to Greece, of which 324 belong to the islands and cover the years between 1847 and 1912," he added. "In the Ottoman Archives there is cadastral information for Lemnos, Rhodes, Kos, Lesbos, Samothraki, Chios, Crete, etc."

"The archives are accessible for research to Turkish and foreign researchers. As the head of the Research Department says, property owners in Greece can submit an application - by filling out a relevant form - in order to have the necessary research done by the staff and receive the documents they want.

"The number of applications made to our institution for the islands in the last 10 years is 95," Şahin said.

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