Istanbul Municipal Council unanimously approved the rezoning plan for rebuilding Kamp Armen.
Municipal Council unanimously approved the rezoning plan that will
protect Kamp Armen orphanage as it is.
Returned to Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation in 2015, Kamp Armen is categorized as “Social and Cultural Facility”. Thanks to this change, Kamp Armen will be rebuilt.
A part of the ground belongs to Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation and a small part belongs to Tuzla Municipality. According to this rezoning, “educational facilities like adult education center, vocational courses; cultural facilities like movie, exhibition, concert and conference halls; social aid units, library, dormitory, retirement home, rehabilitation center and orphanage” will be built.
The plan notes that “residential or commercial units” cannot be built. Planned on a land of 4,840 square meters, the project enables the rebuilding of the demolished camp building and preservation of the green area.
Hosting hundreds of children including Hrant Dink for years, Kamp Armen, which is one of the most important memory sites of Armenian society, was bought by Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation with the permission of the governor's office and General Directorate of Foundations.
On May 6, 2015, Fatih Ulusoy, registered owner of the camp, tried to demolish the camp facilities, but demolition was stopped due to reactions. Then, civil society representatives and politicians from Armenian society started to hold meetings and with the initiation of Ahmet Davutoğlu, the process of returning the camp was started. Meanwhile, Nor Zartonk and Solidarity for Kamp Armen kept watch in the camp.
The camp property, which was bought by Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation, was returned to the first owner due to 1936 Declaration, with its facility that was built by children. The confiscation was finalized with Supreme Court's decision in 1987.
Foundation administration took every possible legal action, but couldn't have got the property.
With the change in the Law of Foundations in 2011, confiscated properties of minority foundations were started to be returned. An application was made to General Directorate of Foundations for taking Tuzla Children's Camp back. However, General Directorate of Foundations didn't considered the property as “confiscated” on the ground that the sale was annulled legally. The camp wasn't returned and no compensation was paid.
In 2015, Kamp Armen was returned to Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation.