The documents certifying the ownership of the land which Bulgarian refugees left in Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor between 1903 and 1913 should be collected by the end of 2011, Minister Without Portfolio Bojidar Dimitrov said on Monday.
"The campaign is still at its initial stage. The process will be difficult, but the archive should be collected until the end of next year, including all available documents or insurance policies," said Dimitrov, who is in charge of Bulgarians abroad. The heirs of such refugees who have no documents "should not
lose hope because we possess a large part of the archives of the Ottoman Empire. Back then, there were people who ran away without taking any documents," he said.
The whole information will be collated in the electronic system of the State Archives Agency in Sofia. It will be referred to the government and will serve as an argument to ask Turkey for compensation.
According to Dimitrov, Turkey is supposed to provide compensation for the property of over 800 000 Bulgarians from Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor who were driven off their land. The size of the compensation cannot be determined now, but Turkey has expressed its desire to resolve the matter. Many things are disputable, including the appraisal of the property items, because they used to be appraised in various currencies, he said.