The process for the return of Kamp Armen has reached the final stage, however, the necessary procedures have not been fulfilled. Official procedures need to be completed for the deed to be registered under the foundation’s name.
The final stage in the return of Kamp Armen to its rightful owners has approached the end. Meetings that are continuing between Düşünce Platformu [The Thought Platform], Nor Zartonk, the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church, AKP parliamentary candidate Markar Esayan, Tuzla Municipality and the current owner Fatih Ulusoy reached a conclusion on 22 May 2015, Friday. Tuzla Municipality Mayor Şadi Yazıcı acted as mediator between representatives of the Armenian community and the current owner Ulusoy. Yazıcı communicated the request of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to the owner. Following the statement of Düşünce Platformu representative Harut Özer on the Radio Agos program on Açık Radyo on Saturday declaring that a solution had been reached, Fatih Ulusoy confirmed the development by saying that he would donate the camp to the foundation.
Ulusoy, in a statement to the Anatolian News Agency, emphasized the significance of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s request and directive. Ulusoy also commented on 1915, saying: “The request and directive of our Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was conveyed to me by Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş, AK Party Istanbul Provincial Director Selim Temurci and Tuzla Mayor Şadi Yazıcı. Since there were no caution or information was provided in the deed of the plot at the time of my purchase in 2006, I displayed no hesitation in carrying out the transaction. Our Esteemed Prime Minister, Metropolitan Mayor, Provincial Director and Tuzla Mayor communicated to me the aspects of the issue and the process of how the deed changed hands. At this time, when the sensitivities of our society are being provoked via various speculations related to the year 1915; in order to contribute to the thoughts and sensitivities of our Armenian citizens, and social peace and unity in our country, I respectfully announce to the public that I will donate the plot in question to the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation.”
Following the statement, Sebu Aslangil, lawyer for the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church and Ulusoy’s lawyers began work on procedures. Procedures were expected to conclude on 27 May, 2015, Wednesday, however, the handover did not take place, leading to uncertainty in the Armenian community. Markar Esayan then contacted Harut Özer from Düşünce Platformu to explain the delay was caused by a technical difficulty, that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is following the process, had called him to ask for information and requested ‘the completion of the process’.
The vigil will continue until the deed is returned
Kamp Armen Solidarity, who have held vigil at the camp site since the decision was taken for the demolition of Kamp Armen, also made a statement regarding the process. The statement underlined that the vigil would continue until the deed was returned to the foundation, adding: “Against the injustice that has continued for more than 30 years, the resistance that we initiated to stop the demolition of Kamp Armen, a monument that rose with the labour of Armenian orphans, has continued for 22 days. Those who drove the bulldozers towards the camp 22 days ago, today claim they will return the camp, and tell tales about how important and valuable Kamp Armen is for them. We have said the same thing since the first day: Kamp Armen must be returned, unconditionally, to the Armenian people, here and now! We will not buy into delaying tactics we are all too accustomed too so that the return of the deed is postponed 10 or 15 days, or is left for after the election, or any other faits accomplis the authorities may have in mind.”