turkce links to original Turkish article
(Sabah Newspaper, 26 March 2015)
How many Russians can read this anyway?
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has demanded that Russia return
historical works taken from Trabzon as the Russian Army withdrew
from the city after its 1916-1918 occupation during World War I.
A committee of experts from both countries has begun work in this
Veysel Usta, from the History Faculty of Karadeniz (Black Sea)
Technical University, has researched the issue for 10 years and
determined that the Russians took works of art from libraries,
mosques, churches and homes and brought them back to Russia.
Among the treasure stolen were 497 hand-written Kurans,
candelabrum and a cover from the Gulbahar Hatun Tomb and
frescos from the Sumela Monastery and other churches. Usta
submitted his research to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
three years ago.
When current President Tayyip Erdogan was Prime Minister
a year ago, he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to return
the works. Last month the Turkish Foreign Ministry officially
made a request to its Russian counterpart ministry to ensure the
return of the treasures. After that, the expert committee was formed.
The process of returning the works will now begin. Existing
treasures and those whose whereabouts are unknown will be
listed. Usta stated that "We have found an Ottoman document
from the 1920's concerning the return of the works. We are
now conducting the repatriation effort through the committee."