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    Benter: Our hope is to open the closed Maraş for use

    There is more than 2,400 decares of land belonging to Ottoman foundations at the Akrotiri British Base, just to the south of the island. 

    The Ottoman Empire in 1571 II. Established with the understanding of charity and solidarity after the conquest of Cyprus during the Selim period, the Cyprus Foundation Administration (EVKAF) has been working for 449 years.

    EVKAF, which was managed in parallel with the Ottoman understanding of administration on the island, lost its unique administrative structure to a great extent with the arrangements made after Cyprus was rented to England in 1878.

    With the additional protocol to the agreement between the Ottoman state and Britain regulating the new situation of Cyprus in 1878, the British changed the management style of EVKAF and took control of this institution.

    Having annexed the island in 1914, Britain seized the lands belonging to EVKAF based on the Seager Report that it had prepared during this transition period, and evaluated them in violation of international law as it wished.

    In addition to its religious and social duties, EVKAF has duties in areas such as financial, commercial, cultural restoration and archive studies, education, agriculture, tourism and sports.

    EVKAF, whose annual income is around 30 million lira, provides scholarships to many students and supports families in need.

    EVKAF made a contribution of 8 million liras from its 2020 budget for the construction of a school building in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Iskele.

    “We are building schools and hospitals with the income of foundations”

    EVKAF General Manager İbrahim Benter made a statement to AA correspondent on the use of the Ottoman heritage EVKAF and foundation properties.

    Reminding that the Ottomans first established a foundation system when they conquered a place, Benter noted that the purpose of this was to “revive, not exploit the place”.

    Benter noted that during the Ottoman period, 2,200 foundations were established in Cyprus and this showed how much importance the Ottoman thought of philanthropy.

    Stating that the Turks in Cyprus have continued their existence on the island by using these foundations established by the Ottoman for 450 years, Benter said, “We have been building schools, mosques and hospitals with the income of the foundations for years. We protect the poor and the poor, we do cultural activities.” said.

    Stating that EVKAF’s annual charity budget is around 10 million lira, Benter noted that they teach hundreds of needy students in TRNC and universities abroad, repair schools and hospitals, support disabled citizens and treat patients.

    Reminding that foundations were the only branch they could hold onto even when they were attacked by the Greeks in Cyprus, Benter noted that during that period, foundations survived with their income and that the foundation system was the most important element for their survival in Cyprus.

    “We are giving foundation lands and buildings to NGOs”

    Emphasizing that hundreds of mosques, schools and hospitals are established on foundation lands all over the island, Benter said, “When NGOs apply to us to do something beneficial to the society, we give them foundation lands and buildings. We rent foundation lands for those who want to use them for profit. “We are trying to get what the price is, so that we can continue our foundation activities with these revenues. We rent our buildings and lands to symbolic numbers to non-profit organizations, such as associations serving the disabled.”

    Stating that the deeds of foundation properties all over the island are available to them and transferred to the digital environment, Benter noted that they can access these documents immediately in case of any legal case.

    Benter said, “When you look at Cyprus as its total area, 30 percent of the island is deeded foundation land and there are foundation lands all over Cyprus. However, during the British administration period, after 1878, most of the foundation lands were in violation of the foundation law and international law. It was passed over to the Greeks and the church. “.

    Stating that the closed Maraş area is around 4,500 decares, Benter said that this area belongs to 3 foundations: Lala Mustafa Pasha Foundation, Abdullah Pasha Foundation and Bilal Aga Foundation.

    “Our hope is that the closed Varosha will be opened for use”

    Benter continued as follows:

    “After Lala Mustafa Pasha conquered Cyprus, he bought the lands in that region with his own money and donated them and these lands were used as foundation land for 300 years. There are mosques and tombs there. But during the British administration, these lands were illegally transferred to the Greeks and the church. In fact, the Greeks and the church were given the right to use, not the property right, and the British confessed this.

    Therefore, closed Maraş is 100% foundation land. We have all the foundation deeds and English deeds that prove this. . ”

    “The administration in the Greek Cypriot side does not allow the use of foundation properties in the south of the island.” Benter said, and noted that as EVKAF, they could not rent and get back the foundation lands there.

    Benter said that what the Greek Cypriot administration did was against international law and that they started the necessary legal processes for this.

    Benter: Our hope is to open the closed Maraş for use 1

    Mentioning that there are thousands of acres of foundation land in the British Sovereign Bases Regions, Benter reminded that in 2014, the British administration and the Greek administration made an agreement to open some parts of the land there and it was announced that it would come into effect in June.

    Benter said that they applied on this issue and that they did not accept the giving of the foundation lands in the British base areas and the lands belonging to Turkish persons to the Greeks.

    Stating that if the foundations and Turkish properties in the British bases are given to the Greeks, Benter stated that they will initiate the legal process and if necessary they will go to the ECHR.

    General Rob Thomson, the Director of the British Bases Area, wrote a letter to them last week and gave a guarantee that Turkish properties and foundation lands would not be given to the Greeks. stated.

    “There is more than 2,400 acres of land belonging to foundations only in the Akrotiri British Base”

    Benter, saying that they are currently using this guarantee to use the lands there, said:

    “Only in the Akrotiri British Base in the south of the island, there is more than 2,400 acres of land belonging to foundations.

    The foundation lands and buildings in the British bases belong to the EVKAF and the Turks.

    Therefore, placing them under the control of the Greeks is against the law and the 1960 Republic of Cyprus founding law.

    They will transfer our land to us, we will go there, we will rent or invest and we will use these revenues for the benefit of needy people in foundation services. ”

    Benter stated that they distributed 40 thousand food packages as EVKAF on the island during the pandemic process, and that they donated 5 ambulances and 26 million lira rent rights to the Ministry of Health and gave a half-finished hospital building in the Kyrenia region.


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