Turkey’s Directorate General of Foundations, which shared the building’s rights along with the Balıklı Greek Foundation, returned its 50 percent to the Fener Greek Patriarchate.
“Returning the building to community has a symbolic importance. We are really happy with this result,” Laki Vingas, the minority foundations representative of the Directorate General of Foundations told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Vingas said that although the building was declared to the authorities in 1936 by the Greek Community in Istanbul, only half of the building was taken over by the directorate.
Turkey’s minorities were obliged to declare their properties in 1936 upon a government request. However, many of the properties did not remain registered under the names of the minority foundations and many were even sold to third parties in subsequent years.