ISTANBUL (Agos) — Kamp Armen’s deed has been returned to Gedikpasa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation this week, foundation’s lawyer Sebu Aslangil said, adding that the process is finalized.
Kamp Armen is one of the most important historic centers of Armenian society. The Tuzla Armenian Children’s Camp, which was bought by Gedikpasa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation with the permission of the governorship and General Directorate for Foundations, hosted children from outside Istanbul for years, including Hrant Dink and Rakel Dink.
The land that was bought by Gedikpasa Armenian Protestant Church Foundation, with its facility that was built by children themselves, was returned to the original owner by the state on the basis of 1936 Declaration. The confiscation process was ended on 1987, when the Supreme Court affirmed the decision.
Administrators of the foundation took all the legal actions they could for getting the camp back, but they got nowhere. Even the law suits they filed to get compensation for the facility they built on the land yielded no results.
With the changes in Law of Foundations in 2011, the process of returning the confiscated properties of the foundations began and an application was made to General Directorate for Foundations for Tuzla Children’s Camp. However, the Directorate didn’t consider the camp as a “confiscated property” because the sale was annulled legally; therefore, there was no returning or compensation.
Fatih Ulusoy, the owner of the camp land, tried to demolish the facilities of the camp, but the demolition was stopped because of people’s reaction. After that, negotiations between NGO representatives of Armenian society and politicians started. Prime Minister Mehmet Davutoglu intervened and the returning process begun. During this process, Nor Zartonk and Kamp Armen Solidarity Movement were on watch on the camp. During this watch, activists were attacked twice.