Kamp Armen Returned to Armenian Protestant Church Foundation

October 27,
2015

Today, Kamp
Armen’s deed has been returned to Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation
in Tuzla, Turkey, reports Agos. The Foundation’s lawyer Seba Aslangil confirms
that the procedures at the Land Registry Office have been officially completed.

Previously
called Tuzla Armenian Children’s Camp, Kamp Armen hosted 1,500 orphan Armenian
children from the Istanbul area, including Hrant Dink and Rakel (Yağbasan) Dink,
until 1983. Kamp Armen is considered one of the most important memory centers of
Armenian society in Istanbul.

On May 6, Fatih
Ulusoy, the owner of the camp land, decided to demolish the facilities of the
camp. Word about his decision spread throughout social media, where #KampArmen soon
became a trending topic. Popularity from this advocate campaign halted the
demolition and on May 22 Ulusoy agreed to donate the land to the Armenian
community.

However, Ulusoy
did not end up giving the deed as he originally promised and the meetings to
solve the issue continued with committees including officials from Tuzla
Municipality, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, and AKP government. During
the meetings, Tuzla Municipality confiscated part of the camp land, decreasing
the size of the land owned by Ulusoy. After the expropriation and the meetings
concluded, Ulusoy returned the deed to Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church
Foundation.

During this
process, Nor Zartonk and Kamp Armen Solidarity Movement activists were on site
at the camp for almost six months. “On the 175th day of resistance, Kamp Armen
was returned to the Armenian people. Our thanks to all of you,” said Nor
Zartonk activist Sayat Tekir in a video message posted on the Kamp Armen
Facebook page
. Even though volunteers who rushed into Kamp Armen upon
hearing the demolition managed to halt the destruction, some parts of the
building were already destroyed.

About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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