52 days have now passed since the resistance began at Kamp Armen on May 6 after bulldozers entered the camp in Tuzla to demolish the facilities. Despite promises made by the government and municipality, the deed has still not been returned to the Armenian community.
The resistance began when the current property owner tried to demolish the camp in order to realize his own project. It had initially appeared that significant process had been made in meetings before the general election. In a statement he made on May 23, Fatih Ulusoy, the current owner of the property, had declared he would donate the camp to the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church. Following the statement, Ulusoy submitted a document announcing the donation to the Church Foundation; however, the document is worthless unless the donation is registered at the deed office.
Meetings that also included Tuzla Municipality continued throughout last week, but no clear statement was made to the public regarding at which stage the return process was facing a deadlock. It was also revealed that Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş had also taken part in the recent meetings. Sides taking part in meetings stated only that the process might accelerate in the coming week.
Kamp Armen Solidarity and Nor Zartonk held a press conference last Friday, and criticized the failure to return the camp. The statement read: “Since the injustice was caused by the State, it needs to be solved by the State. That is why we are not part of the commission for negotiations. The State is trying to hide behind the property owner in developing a solution. The owner initially said he had paid for the property, and he could sell it back to the Armenian community; but then, and these are his own words, he declared he would donate the property upon the requests of other actors in the process, including the Prime Minister. How did this change take place? We do not know the link between the two because the process is not transparent.”
Kamp Armen Solidarity and Nor Zartonk are holding a second rally on 26 June 2015, Friday, at 19:30, that will begin in Tünel Square, with the slogan “Enough with Delaying Tactics – Return Kamp Armen to the Armenian People”. A rally will also be held on Yüksel Street in Ankara on the same day.