ISTANBUL (A.W.)—Fatih Ulusoy, the current owner of Camp Armen, said on May 23 that he would sign the transfer of the property over to the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Foundation. Camp Armen is the former summer camp located in the Tuzla district of Istanbul that provided asylum for Armenian orphans until 1983. Ulusoy’s statement came after weeks of protests by local activists on the camp grounds, demanding that the site, which faced demolition, be returned to its Armenian owners.
In response to Ulusoy’s statement, Nor Zartonk, the Armenian youth movement in Istanbul that is at the forefront of protest actions demanding the return of the property to the foundation, vowed to continue the struggle until the deed was successfully transferred to the Armenians. “We shall not leave Camp Armen until the land title and related property rights are entirely transferred to the foundation,” they declared.
On May 22, Nor Zartonk held a solidarity demonstration in Istanbul that called on authorities to stop the demolition of Camp Armen and urged the return of the confiscated property to the Armenian community.
Over 1,000 demonstrators gathered at the Beyoğlu Tünel Square on Istiklal Street to voice their concern over the fate of the historic Armenian camp, including Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipal candidate Murad Mıhçı.
Demonstrators held signs in Turkish that read, “Give Camp Armen back to the Foundation” and “Camp Armen belongs to Armenians.”
The camp had been marked for demolition to make room for luxury residential buildings. Yet, soon after the demolition began on May 6, work was halted when concerned citizens intervened. Protesters held a live-in demonstration at Camp Armen.
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