If it wasn't for the all Wikileaks-related hubbub, this news item from today would have probably gotten a bit more attention: After confiscating it in 1997, the Turkish state today handed back the title of a 19th-century orphanage on the island of Buyukada to the Orthodox Patriarchate. From the Hurriyet Daily News:
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate reclaimed the 19th-century orphanage on Büyükada, the largest of the Prince’s Islands at Marmara Sea, on Monday after it was granted back to the community by the European Court of Human Rights.
Turkey took control of the building in 1997, many years after it was abandoned, on the grounds that it belonged to another foundation.
The European court, however, ruled in June that the land was registered to the Patriarchate, giving it de facto legal status to the building. Turkey was also ordered to pay 6,000 euros in compensation and 20,000 euros in court fees.
The Patriarchate’s lawyer, Cem Sofuoğlu, received the land title after paying a fee of 150 Turkish Liras to the Princes’ Islands Land Registry Office to deliver it to the patriarch.
The Justice Ministry issued an official statement on the transfer, saying, “There is no alternative but to register the orphanage to the Fener Greek Patriarchate’s records.”