Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Recently I came across an interesting document in Ottoman Turkish - a takrir sent by the Bulgarian Exarchate to the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs of the Ottoman Empire. The document, which is dated 2 Teşrinisani 1326 [2 October 1920], is kept alongside an approximate translation into Bulgarian and stored in the Bulgarian Central State Archives (CSA) under call number F. 321k, Op. 1, a.e. 2737. *
As Thracian refugees were often met by poverty in the Kingdom of Bulgaria many of them were considering returning to their homes after the cesation of the armed conflicts. In 1920, refugees from seven Bulgarian villages near Çatalca attempted to return to their settlements which they had deserted during the Balkan wars.
As of 2 October 1920, 40 families had already tried to return to the village of Imrahor, but the Ottoman authorities detained and sent them under guard to Istanbul. The Bulgarian Exarchate sent a formal memo to the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs of the Ottoman state asking not only that the families detained be released, but also that the Bulgarian refugees who would like to return to their homes in the Çatalca district and which number between 3,000 and 4,000 people, be allowed to do so that same autumn in order to plant crops for the next year. In addition to this, the Turkish refugees from the Balkans (muhacir) that settled in the villages were significantly fewer in number than the capacity of the settlements and were therefore no major obstacle to the remigration of the Bulgarians.
The following villages in the kaza of Çatalca are mentioned in this takrir: Avren, Çanakça, Tarfa, Deli Yunus, Terkos, Taya Hatun, Imrohor. (Spelling is according to the document: اورن, چناقچه, طارفه, دلی یونس ترقوس, طایاخاتون, امروخور)
Вижте 7 Bulgarian settlements in Çatalca - according to takrir of the Exarchate from 1920
* CSA regulations does not allow me to publish this document here. I could send you a copy in case of interest.
citation: Shivarov, Stoyan (2013). A Takrir sent by the Exarchate to the Ottoman authorities, 1920. http://orient.ottomanist.info/?x=entry:entry130724-161617