20 Mayıs 2018 Pazar

Ottoman Deeds Turn Garbage Man into Land Baron

türkçe links to original Turkish article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 20 May 2018)

Küpten 6 köy çıktı
Going into the pistachio and olive business big-time.

In Mardin, cleaning worker Ali Aşa (60) found an earthenware
jar containing 20 Ottoman-era land titles and tax documents
while he was repairing his house.  Aşa paid 250 TL (about
$60) to have the documents translated to modern Turkish and
he threw in 1,000 walnuts as a bonus for the translator.  It
turned out that the documents showed Aşa to be the owner
of the surrounding six villages. (!) 

Aşa explained that "I then made an application to the land
registry directorate.  I was shocked to learn that the 20
Ottoman documents showed that the six villages are my
inheritance.  I thought it would amount to about half an acre.
I never thought it would be this much land.  The records show
that some family members disappeared and they don't appear
in the records.  They disappeared in 1920.  There are tax
payment records from 1914 and receipts for the land from 1928
to 1952."

Aşa noted that he learned that according to the documents,
there were 16 heirs but "in 1932 tribes stormed our village
and some people were killed while others fled."   Once Aşa
found the documents he thought that there ought to be more
heirs so he decided to look for them by filing a case in court:
"I filed the case to find out whether there are more than 16
heirs.  It's been going on for two years.  Anyone who thinks
they are an heir should apply to the court.  I will give anyone
who has a relationship to the deeds found in the jars their
rightful share."
küpten 6 köy çıktı ile ilgili görsel sonucu
Deed stipulates that no McDonalds or Starbucks can be put
on this land, in perpetuity. 

Aşa said that his whole family makes its living by garbage
collection and cleaning.  His plans for the future: "If we
don't find any other heirs and the deeds remain with me,
then I'll get 10-20 backhoes, hire 100 workers and plant
pistachio and olive trees.  The pistachio trees will come
out in a year and I'll give any other heirs who appear by
then their rights.  It's about a 25-acre plot of land, made
up of the old Tuhup, Sancar, Üzüm and Zeytüniye
villages.  I know the villages' Kurdish names but not
their Turkish ones. There's also Aluça, Garzıke and
Merzaka - they are all included in my land."

mardin haritası ile ilgili görsel sonucu


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