Page 165 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
15.07.1930, to the Regional Commission for Refugee Accommodation and Labour Security; RSA-
Haskovo, 23К, оp. 1, а.е. 2). This suggests that at the time there were no other refugees without
property in the town of Haskovo – according to existing data there were over 1000 refugee
households altogether. What is more, if we compare this plan to the blueprints from 1957 (when
the next plan for urban development was approved) and to the contemporary situation in
Haskovo, we see that the created in 1930 refugee district actually covered only what is known
today as “Makedonski” district.
The contemporary “Trakiyski” district appeared in the urban regulation plans of Haskovo
in 1957 for the first time – the blueprint preceding them did not contain the district of “Trakiyski”.
It is quite possible that refugees from Thrace were accommodated in that area and built their
houses there, but that those plots had not been previously included within regulated town limits.
Since there are no records with regard to the point of origin of the refugees who received plots
in what is known today as the “Makedonski” district, we cannot claim with any certainty that only
successors of refugees from Macedonia live there nowadays.
At present, however, the two districts are unambiguously differentiated by virtue of their
names and also through the names of the streets in them. In “Trakiyski” district there is a plate
dedicated “to the memory of Thracian refugees from Aegean and Edirne Thrace”. In the center of
town, at the entrance of the building housing the Thracian society, there is a memorial plate to
Georgi Sapunarov.
In Svilengrad, the presence of refugee memories is much
more dispersed in the urban space – there are no compact spaces,
signposted through street-naming practices. One can see the so-
called Thracian House, even if the commercial strip developed in
front of the building almost obscures the edifice. As I mentioned
above, the period of refugee accommodation here coincided with
first plan for urban development in Svilengrad, which was in the
process of being rebuilt after the extensive fire. This is why the
refugees who were included from the very beginning in those
processes managed to integrate in urban space.
Buildings
Building construction for refugees was also regulated both at the central and at the local
levels. According to the Law for Agrarian Accommodation of Refugees through the UN Loan and
the decrees issued by the Main Directorate for Refugee Accommodation (Letter N2539, dated
09.03.1928, from the Main Directorate for Refugee Accommodation to Regional Commissions
and administrative inspectors), the houses were built following a particular procedure which
included an open bid for the selection of the building company to be commissioned the serial
construction of buildings, the definition of 5 types of buildings and the appointment of respective
commissions to oversee the construction process. In Haskovo they did not build any of the five
approved types of buildings, even if we see evidence of co-operative building with construction