Following a six-month course of church doctrine and basic knowledge of Christian belief, 12 more Dersim Armenians took their first step back to Christianity with a collective baptism ceremony. Two married couples also held religious engagement ceremonies following the baptism ceremony held on 9 May 2015, Saturday at the Yeşilköy Surp Istepanos Church.
Civilian society organizations who have organized the resistance at Tuzla since 6 May, Wednesday, when the demolition of Kamp Armen began, and have continued their vigil since, spoke about their demands.
While reactions to the demolition of Camp Armen mount, and the vigil at the camp site against demolition continues, attempts for a solution have also begun. The matter is on the government’s agenda, and AKP parliamentary candidate Markar Esayan has stated that he has spoken with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on the issue, and that has work towards a solution has begun. The Armenian community is hopeful yet cautious. The demand is not for expropriation but for the return of the camp deed to the Church Foundation.
A gathering was organized at Kamp Armen, which still faces the threat of demolition, after activists and the public thwarted the initial attempt. Speaking at the gathering, Rakel Dink said, “This story must not end here”.
By universal law, the definition of seizing a camp created by the sweat of children’s brows, in the simplest terms, is ‘usurpation’. The State has usurped Kamp Armen. And everyone should know very well that this is a terribly grave sin to pay for.
On the one hand, in view of all that we have experienced over the years, there is nothing to be surprised. On the other hand, if we are still surprised, it is an embarrassment for all of us. An embarrassment for Turkey.
The solidarity vigil that began at Kamp Armen (Tuzla Children’s Camp) after heavy machinery entered the site continued all day and through the night. Nor Zartonk (New Renascense), Dört Ayaklı Şehir (Quadruped City) and İstanbul Kent Savunması (Istanbul Urban Defence) issued a collective call to attend the solidarity vigil.
Demolition that began in the early hours of the day at Tuzla Children’s Camp, also known as Kamp Armen, was stopped with the intervention of activists, members of the public and politicians that gathered at the site. The waiting continues.
The Armenian Apostolic Karasnits Mangants Church, Aleppo’s oldest Armenian Church has been targeted in a bomb attack.
Surp Badarak mass in memory of April 24 has been held at the Turkey Armenian Patriarchal Church. Led by Deputy Patriarch Aram Ateşyan, the ceremony was also attended by EU Minister Volkan Bozkır. President Erdoğan’s message was also read at the ceremony where white doves symbolizing peace were released and bells were rung 100 times.