Special Report: What is Turkey Returning to Armenians?

(Armenian Weekly)–The Turkish government recently announced  that real estate assets confiscated by the State, which once belonged to Armenian, Greek, and Jewish charitable foundations, would be returned to the rightful owners, and that the government would pay compensation for any confiscated property that has since been sold to third parties.  This is definitely a long overdue positive step in the right direction by the Turkish government, when compared with decades long injustice and discrimination of the past Turkish governments against its non-Muslim citizens. While this decree was hailed by the EU, Turkish media  as well as the minority charitable foundations in Turkey, it was met by the Armenian Diaspora as an insufficient gesture at best, a cynical political trick at worst. Perhaps the following facts can help put the issue in context.

Selamet Han

In 1936, the Turkish government required the non-Muslim minority charitable foundations to submit a list of all their real estate assets to the state, which they did. In 1974, during the height of the Cyprus crisis and with inflamed hatred toward the Greeks, the Turkish government installed by the 1971 coup d’etat decreed that any assets not shown on the 1936 lists, that is, properties deeded to the charitable foundations after 1936, are illegally obtained and therefore, must be seized by the Turkish state. Some 1,410 properties willed or gifted to the non-Muslim charitable organizations from 1936 to 1974, were confiscated by the State, thus suddenly depriving the foundations from their beneficial uses and revenues. These assets included apartment, school and office buildings, houses, shops and vacant land, mostly in or near Istanbul, where most of the remaining non-Muslim minority citizens in Turkey lived. The present government decree pledges to return 162 of the 1,410 assets confiscated in 1974. Over the past several years, the charitable foundations had tried through Turkish legal channels to get back these assets but to no avail. They had recently applied to the European Court of Human Rights, which had already ruled against the Turkish state on a number of cases.

Below is a partial list of the Armenian charitable foundation assets to be returned by the government:

1.       Gedikpasha Armenian Protestant primary school – the building is already demolished, at present used as a park

2.       Gedikpasha Armenian Protestant Church – one apartment building in Kumkapi, a restaurant, a playground

3.       Surp Harutyun Armenian Church – several flats in Beyoglu

4.       Ferikoy Surp Vartanants Church – an apartment building and a vacant lot in Sisli

5.       Kurucheshme Surp Khatch Yerevman Church – one building in Arnavutkoy

6.       Kumkapi Surp Harutyun School – a store in Kumkapi and a store in Kadikoy

7.       Kumkapi Mayr Asdvadzadzin Church – a flat in Eminonu

8.       Yenikoy Surp Asdvadzadzin Church – a vacant lot in Istinye

9.       Bomonti Mkhitaryan Armenian Catholic School – school buildings, two shops and a flat in Sisli

10.   Yedikule Surp Prgitch (Holy Saviour) Armenian Hospital –  a total of 19 properties, including one building lot, a house and four shared lots in Sariyer, a residential building in Moda, 2 residential buildings in Sisli, one flat in Beyoglu, one store in Kapalicarsi Covered Bazaar,  a house in Uskudar, one apartment building, one flat and a warehouse in Kurtulus, a four storey hotel in Taksim, a retail and office commercial building in Beyoglu, a flat in Chamlica, a 47,500 sq. m. vacant lot in Beykoz, and a 44,000 sq. m. land adjacent to the Hospital, formerly the gardens of the Hospital, presently used as Zeytinburnu Soccer Stadium, a sports building, a parking lot and a tea garden, and last but not least, the valuable office building called Selamet Han in Eminonu, Istanbul.

It is noteworthy to emphasize the significance of the Selamet Han office building, which was donated in 1953 by well known businessman and oil magnate Caloust Gulbenkian. The impressive six storey art nouveau style building was built in early 20. century  by Armenian architect Hovsep Aznavour, builder of many of the Istanbul landmarks in the Pera/Beyoglu district. The Selamet Han building, confiscated by the state in 1974, fell into disrepair and is now in a dilapidated condition. The Surp Prgitch Foundation has announced that as soon as the building is given back, it intends to restore it and put into use as a boutique hotel, to generate much needed revenues for the hospital operations.

The recent government decree at last and at least partially addresses the injustices of the 1974 confiscations, by pledging to return about ten percent of the 1,410 properties, mostly in Istanbul.  However,  there is a massive list of properties and assets belonging to the thousands of Armenian churches, monasteries and schools in Anatolia, lost after 1915. One example to illustrate the enormity of this issue is the case of the Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir, which by itself had owned more than 200 properties in central Diyarbakir prior to 1915. Another interesting example is the Sanasaryan High School in Erzurum. This school, which provided education of such  high caliber that it even surpassed the Istanbul Armenian schools in the late 19. century, was closed down in 1915. It is still a little known fact in Turkey that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, when drumming up support and organizing the resistance to the Allied occupation of Anatolia, convened the famous Erzurum Congress in this Armenian school in July-August 1919. The Sanasaryan School Foundation, had built and owned one of the largest office buildings in Istanbul in the late 19th Century,  in order to support the Sanasaryan School in Erzurum. It is also a little known fact that the famous Sanasaryan Han Office Building  in Istanbul was seized first by the Ottoman and then the Turkish Republic governments and converted into the General Security and Police Headquarters of Istanbul. This building became notorious for the imprisonment, torture and murder of hundreds of intelligentsia during the military government regimes in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

One last glaring example involves the lands belonging to the Surp Agop Armenian Cemetery, which were confiscated in the 1930s by the Istanbul municipal government. These lands were deeded in the 16. Century by the Ottoman Emperor Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to the Armenian people for cemetery uses, as a reward to his personal cook Manuk Karaseferyan of Van, who saved the Sultan from a poisoning plot against him by the Germans and Hungarians after the campaign to take Budapest. The  Armenian cemetery was in use for nearly four centuries from 1560s to 1930s. As these vast lands lie adjacent to the most popular road in the centre of the city, they were deemed most valuable by the Istanbul government and expropriated  from the Armenian Surp Agop Foundation without any compensation, despite years of legal struggles. At present, these lands are occupied by the State Radio and Television Headquarters, The Turkish Armed Forces Istanbul Headquarters,  the Military Museum, many fashionable hotels such as Hilton, Regency Hyatt, Divan, several apartment and office buildings, as well as the expansive Taksim Park, which has walkways made from marble of the Armenian tombstones.

The decree by the present government may seem insufficient or insignificant, but everything is relative, and this is an enormous first step of a long journey in the right direction when compared with past Turkish government policies. This journey requires mutual empathy, cooperation, encouragement and, above all, the uncovering of all hidden historic facts on the path to the creation of a common body of knowledge.

Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan is a civil engineer, writer and a concert pianist, living in Toronto. Proceeds from his concerts and CDs have been donated to the construction of school, highways, and water and gas distribution projects in Armenia and Karabakh—projects in which he has also participated as a voluntary engineer. Bedrosyan was involved in organizing the Surp Giragos Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Church reconstruction project. His many articles in English, Armenian and Turkish media deal with Turkish-Armenian issues, Islamized hidden Armenians and history of thousands of churches left behind in Turkey. He gave the first piano concert in the Surp Giragos Church since 1915, and again during the 2015 Genocide Centenary Commemoration. He is the founder of Project Rebirth, which helps Islamized Armenians return to their original Armenian roots, language and culture. He is the author of the book "Trauma and Resilience: Armenians in Turkey - hidden, not hidden, no longer hidden."
Raffi Bedrosyan

Latest posts by Raffi Bedrosyan (see all)


  1. Call me doubting Thomas, but  i believe it when i see it.BTW turkish government gesture is cosmetic.There are Many MORE properties that should be returned to their rightful owners!

  2. We are grateful to you for this article, Raffy. It is especially distressing that walkways are made of marble from Armenian tombstones. While we are all hopeful, it is too early to tell if this is actually “an enormous first step,” or if it will prove to be more Turkish smoke and mirrors.

  3. Krikor,

    At the very least, it’s an attempt to bring us all together. Can you please tell us how many Turkish and Turkic properties in Armenia and the NK region that need to be returned? How many Mosques remain in Armenia? How many Turks and Azeris would you guesstimate that live and/or work in Armenia? What attempts are being made by Armenia to return and/or at least repair these properties to their rightful owners?    

  4. Believe 50% whatever You see, never beieve anything You hear! As referred to Turkish focus and EU procus I can smell seriuos conflicts between Armenian, Greek, and Jewish Communities within Anatolia. The conflicts inside these Communities will also be rather severe. Let Heavens work correctly! So be it!

  5. Robert, it seems to me that you are looking for trouble! Turks’ crimes against human beings cannot be compared by Armenians. Remember, Turkish Government declared Jihad, Holy War, to murder Armenian children. Furthermore, two wrongs are not equal to right.

  6. Robert. guess what??

    before we get to your questions that you have answers to already.. lets share the below with everyone shall we???….:)
    I would like to take everyone to the memory lane and share the journey of Robert’s posts…to show the progression of how many avatars you used and the change in your style of writings…
    … as I want to show everyone how creative but not so smart you are…..
    August 20, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    It’d sure be nice if you knew what you were talking about! Armenia lives for handouts!! Must I remind you of Armenia’s economic standing (only Madagascar is worse)? Without my tax dollars going to one of the most corrupt and religiously oppressive nations on the planet, and also without the Russian military there to protect you (LMAO), Armenia would be the typical professional beggars that they’ve been for the past century! So cry me a river and read a book for once (not the typical ARF dashnak Armenian propaganda)! 
    August 22, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    I very recently just lost my brother to heart disease. I’ve come to a point in my life that hate and this constant “one up-manship” is wrong. I still believe that we need to debate if we are to settle our differences and be able to come to terms and reconcile, but ever since my personal family loss, my feelings and outlook towards life have truly changed. It doesn’t matter whether you nor anyone else believes me. Life is too damn short to continue this nonesense. I guess what I’m trying to say to you, and to the rest of you on this site, is that I’m sorry for any smartass remarks I may have made, as well as any personal insults I may have said in the past. It was wrong and not a mature approach to deal with a complex issue. Sometimes, one’s feelings just well up from deep inside and come forth before one has a total grasp of those feelings, and translated into words that may be hurtful, ugly and/or misconstrued. I think that we’re all guilty of this to varying extents. If you all can forgive me for my past and recent transgressions, I certainly, and already have, forgiven all of you for your negative contributions as well. I believe that we all can be friends. I extend my hand to you all in burying the hatchet and taking those first important steps to becoming friends once more. I don’t mean to ramble (it’s not always easy to find the words one feels), but there it is. I’d be more than happy to come back to give positive inputs if so invited. If not, then I’ll understand and bother you no more (no grudges held either). Sometimes we all have to take chances in life!    
    August 22, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    To the editorial board:
    I’ve said/written some cruel and neagative things about you. For this I sincerely apologize. I have no real excuse other than the frustration of having my comments censored or deleted, and thus being unable to defend myself at crucial periods. Regardless though, those reasons are no excuse for some of the horrible things that I had written to you. It was wrong of me and I’m sorry.
    August 23, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    Thank you for your kind words. I know that they were sincere. May we all strive to settle and overcome our differences and once again become the brothers and sisters God intended for us to be.
    August 27, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    You’re wrong in your assumption about me. I’ve already written that I wish to provide positive input for all parties, so that an amicable solution can be reached and agreed to by all. I have a lot of very recent personal pain to deal with, which has given me a new insight. Although I have not given up on my beliefs of historical facts (as backed up by my grandfamilies documentations and verbal accounts of that era), I also believe that all sides suffered………… This is why a historical commission is so important (comprised of both Armenian, Turkish and neutral scholars), to review all archives and hopefully get to the truth of what truly occurred. I don’t believe that only Turks should be portrayed as being evil (when you know as well as I do that crimes were committed by all), and thus be solely expected to provide an apology (what about an apology from the Armenian side for their actions/roles?). the Turks and Armenians living outside (e.g. Europe and America) don’t have a full grasp of what they feel in Turkey and Armenia. This is a major factor that constantly creates problems. They say that they’re happy and “wish that those living outside would stop causing trouble”. This goes for both sides! I for one feel that they’re correct. We who live here in the US need not stick our noses into their lives over there. Let them settle their issues! Perhaps then the NK situation and any other problem can thus be settled, with new freindship treaties between Turkey, Armenia and Azebaijan signed, creating cooperation in many areas (economical, scientific, cultural, etc.), with mutual advancement and peace in the region.          
    AND YOUR LAST POST  MATCHES TO YOUR AVATAR ABOVE….ahhhhh.. guess the mourning period is over Robert…
    August 28, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    You can’t have your cake and eat it too! Keep in mind that the more which is made of this, the more of a backlash it will provide when it comes time for settling the NK situation. Rest assured that Turkey, Azerbaijan and Moslems world-wide will NOT go gently into that good night! They will pay close attention to what PM Erdogan is doing AND what the reactions from Armenians and Greeks will be, and how they will reciprocate. My advice thus, is to stop grumbling for everything on the planet, and act like adults. Otherwise, you simply give impetus for what I mentioned earlier.

    and do you remember what i said to you? let me remind you just in case you forgot to read it or simply overlooked it…
     I was a bit skeptical myself to read about such a revelation in Robert The Turk…. i knew it was abit too good to be true but i gave him the benefit of the doubt.. however, if he is pulling our leg with this story, he better not come back on these pages or else he will be called out so many times with such force on these pages, that he will regret playing with people like that…  
    Guess you could not help yourself.. well it was your choice.. so be prepared…

    August 28, 2011 | Permalink | Reply
    TO ALL: JUST IN CASE the avatars do not come through in my last comment, I want to ensure that each avatar used by Robert the Turk except the last two comments have different style and different colors.. 
    Black and white
    Pink and white
    Red and white
    Purple and white
    Strawberry red and white

  7. Robert.. you asked the same things in another discussion chain written on 8.31.11:  Editorial: Necessary but Insufficient::::: here it is with my response to you….

    It’s truly sad that there are nothing but attacks here. Will there come a time when we can also discuss the properties of Molems (Turks, Azeris, etc.) in Armenia that have yet to be returned and/or compensated for? Just out of curiosity, would anyone tell me how many Turks and/or Azeris live in Armenia? How many Mosques remain in Armenia? Thank you
    I am sorry i must have flown in from out of space because the last i remember Turks and Azeris had nothing but half piece of clothing on their backs when they arrived from Altai mountains and Mongolian steppes .. now Robert is claiming that there were some sort of take over of Muslims’ properties and money and that they are due comensation….. ok ok ok.. let me regain myself from laughing so hard at this claim of his.. ohhh ..wheww.. ok i am good now.. .now… i would like to ask historian Robert the Turk..
    Do you mind sharing and enlightening us as to what and why do we have to compensate you denialists and sore loser Azeris for??? for what? and with what???
    Please go ahead…we are all ears…


  8. Robert, what is your point?  Genocide: massacre, deportation, confiscation of property and elimination from one’s homeland—-destruction of a people.  That is what we are talking about here.  Not civil skirmishes and isolated acts of lawlessness. No one claims that Armenians never did anything to Turks.   We are humans, too.   But Armenians did not set out to destroy all Turks, and almost succeed, ever.  Not in 1915, not in the war with Azerbaijan and not now.  This is a crime against mankind, committed by Turkey and Turkey must pay for it.  The return of these properties is the beginning of Turkey facing its responsibility. 

  9. in the Turkish Universe, Time starts with the arrival of Turks (or Seljuk-Turks) on the world scene. Time began about 1,000 years ago in the imaginative mind of Turks. 
    The Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands were empty. Devoid of any human presence.
    Ready to be ‘settled’.

    Why was it called ‘Armenian Highlands’ ? who knows. Probably in some ancient extinct language used at the time, ‘Armenian Highlands’ must have meant ‘Empty Uninhabited Wide Open Space’.

    This has been pointed out numerous times, but we will gladly point out numerous times more – now and in the future.

    In the Universal Time scale that everyone except Turks use, Time did not begin 1,000 years ago: it began quite a bit earlier than that.

    Armenians, with a highly developed civilization, were in the Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands long, long, long….. before the Tatar-Turks and Seljuk-Turks invaded our lands, after having traveled thousands of miles from their own homeland around Altai Mountains and Mongolian Steppes.

    Repeat: whatever blood has been spilled is a direct result of the fact that Turks invaded somebody else’s homeland. It all began with the invasion of Turks of the lands that did not belong to them.

    Armenians did NOT invade Turks’ homeland.
    Turks invaded Armenians’ homeland. 


  10. Christianity 2,000 years old.
    Islam 1,000 years old.
    Armenians adopted Christianity 1,700 years ago.
    Christian Armenians predate appearance of Islam by 700 years.

    Therefore, Armenian Churches were built centuries before appearance of Islam, and subsequent construction of Mosques.

    Whose religious buildings and objects  (e.g. Khachkars) were in existence  first ?
    Who destroyed whose religious objects first ?

  11. Robert please please please don’t involve any discussion with Armenians.Let them sing their own songs you cannot change this reality, we are ruling those lands since 1000 years ago, Armenians never had independent statw on those lands rather than pricipality(hopefully spelled correct, english teacher Armenians will teach me) under various empires.

    Robert you didnt know that Tigran built indrpendent state in California 160,000 years ago?When Christopher Columb stepped in America California’s original name was Californikert, as well as Sydney was Sydneykert, Moscowkert, Bakunekert, and Berlinekert….They ruled entire world for 150,000 years, we are not in the position to debate with Armenians…

    Please Robert respect your race…!

  12. Ok.. am I the only one who is absolutely confused who Elchin is trying to do on these pages??? WOW.. talk about a confused, dillarious individual… did not get ONE WORD and i have no idea what he or she is trying to express… hmmmm.. i need someone to interpret the comment ….

    Thank you


  13. Avery jan– You nailed it… i mean do these denialists read the posts?? I bet they don’t because if they did, it is right there.. IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE.. the facts. OBVIOUS facts… i don’t get it..

    This is a true testiment that Turkis Denialists do not want to know the truth… simply afraid of it….

    How long are they going to live in denial and in darkness??? I am assuming for a long time…


  14. Elchin:    —-Dead wrong and ridiculously primitive statement.  You are ruling those lands since 1000 years ago not because you have originated there, but as a result of intrusion, colonization, and, ultimately, physical annihilation of ancient indigenous peoples, including the Armenians.  Most recent Armenian state was the Kingdom of Cilicia that existed until 15th century AD.  Check your non-Turkish history books.

    By the way, did Turks have an independent state in Asia Minor before the formation of the Ottoman empire in the 15th century AD?

    Curiously,   K

  15. Actually, Avery,    —-Islam is 1300 years old if we take the 7th century AD as the era of its emergence. But you’re correct in that Islam reached expansion apex and appeared in Asia Minor, where now alien Turks live, only in the 9-10th centuries AD. This minor correction doesn’t diminish the fact that Islam is the newest religion that appeared long after Judaism and Christianity. In that, you’re absolutely correct.  I just want Armenian posters to be accurate in everything they say in order to effectively fend off Turkish distorionists.

  16. The point that is being missed is this: The Turks did not have to do this! This is something that just came out of the proverbial left-field! I don’t see anyone else tripping over themselves to return, repay losses of the Turks…

  17. Mustapha

    Yes Turkey had to do this. The confiscations were found to be illegal in court! Turkey had no right to confiscate to begin with. The confiscations were a nationalistic reaction with no justification. This is correcting one of many in the long line of wrongs.

  18. Mustafa Kemal—-

    You said:   The point that is being missed is this

    Here it is point: TURKEY NOT ONLY HAD TO DO THIS, THEY ARE OBLIGATED to do it… talk about ignorance…..  

    oh another thing: the Turkish govt will trip over themselves as the time goes by because the tide is getting bigger and bigger… you have no where to run anymore.. Denialists…


  19. What ‘losses of the Turks’, Mustafa?  Has any other nation murdered Turks as a people and deprived you from your historical homelands in the Central Asian steppes?  I don’t think so.  But Turks did this and more to the native peoples of Asia Minor: Greeks, Assyrians, and most viciously, to Armenians.  Some day you will have to pay the price for the crimes.

  20. Put property aside, there is a LOT more that needs to be done by the turkish government, period. We already all know that. Yes, it is frustrating because it seems so minor compared to what we deserve but Raffi is right…it doesn’t matter if it’s 10 percent of the property or 90 percent… it is still a step forward. It’s better than nothing.

  21. Elchin, your post was humorous, with all those  “-kerts”, but next time you should include a few ” -astans”  as well to make it more authentic. Bostonastan, Beirutastan, Boca Ratonastan…   Also you encourage Robert to stop communicating with Armenians out of respect for his race.  Now that is racist! 

    Mustapha, Turkey must absolutely return these illegally confiscated properties.  Nothing left field about any of this.  Behind the scene pressure maybe.  Did you think Turkey did this to be kind?

  22. Believe absolutly NOTHING the Turkish Gov’t says or has in writing. They have a culture of lieing and deceptive gestures to serve only selfish motives! Over a century of lies justify this. 

  23. thanks for the correction Karo:  please do not hesitate to bring to my attention any gaps in my knowledge base – anytime. 

  24. Those who are following the school of taught that simply there was a war between all nations including Ottomans and Armenians and there were some war casualties from both sides meaning one side was their Great 600 years old empire and the other side was Armenian children citizens of the opposite side. That is all. Another words, the cat never came out of its bag and therefore it never could cause any damage.
    The followings are undisputed facts:

    1. During these wars, there were living several thousand Armenian children
    under the protection of the Great Ottoman Empire.

    2. Almost all of these Armenian children were Christians.

    3. The Caliphate/Sultan/Empire of the Ottoman Empire declared Jihad/Holy War
    against all Christians including Armenian children. There was no exception in the said declaration.

    4. the Ottoman Empire deported these Armenian children, knowing very well that most of them are not going to make it.

    5. The Ottoman Empire managed to convert most of the survived Armenian children
    to Muslim.

    6. The Ottoman Empire/ Republic of Turkey decided to confiscate the graves of
    these Armenian children ancestors’ grave stones to pave their streets and use them in building the foundation of state buildings.

    Now, people like Robert expect from the Armenians to apologize for what Ottoman
    Empire has done to Armenian children. Because Turks have Turkish logic, I offer an apology on behave of all Armenians to Robert and to his friends so that they can all die in peace and go to….
    Note! The Turkish v. Armenian Issue is not a personal issue. It is a national issue.
    No one has right to downplay the gravity of the Ottoman Turks’ genocide against
    Ottoman Armenians and Ottoman Armenian children. I am sure that soon or later I
    will leave this world, however, my ideology will survive for ever and beyond
    ever. Some people’s imagination is limited by idea of forever. Yet, there are
    people who believe to the idea of not only forever, but beyond forever. My love to
    my nation and my homeland will continue forever and beyond.    
    For more info see the article published by the Honorable Judge Ozsu, a sitting judge in Republic of Turkey.  Judge Ozsu writes “to state that we feel terrible regarding these events…. Those who died at that time were not our enemies, but our citizens. Some of those who died were children. No one can speak of children as enemies.”

  25. AMEN TO THAT PAPKEN JAN..AMEN.. My love will go on forever and beyond forever as well.. am with you all the way…

    Oh my Jesus Christ.. why am I having such a hard time understanding this person Elchin… is it me or is it his writing???
    Yes Karo Seljuks had been indepent since 1071…Cilicia was seigniory under Byzantin

    Whatt?? huh? hellooo???


  26. I find in bad taste that you guys use against Robert his sharing of a personal tragedy story. He and you might disagree bitterly, but don’t take such cheap shots. Especially offensive, I think, is Gayane’s disclosing of a personal email thread so publicly. Lack of class is what comes to mind. Even if Robert is an idiot, you should hold yourself to a higher standard than this, 

  27. I am confused.
    Armenians, with a highly developed civilization, were in the Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands long, long, long….. before the Tatarlands-Turks and Seljuk-Turks invaded our land

    Armenians, with a highly developed civilization? Really? I am truely shocked
    Because, Armenians failed to invent fire, Armenians failed to invent wheel, Armenians couldn’t discover America, Armenians failed to start the industrial revolution, Armenians even failed to defend their homeland but 500 years after America was discovered, they went to America and stole the English colony made it theirs.Lastly, They stole the English culture and presented it as their own. What a great civilization!!!

  28. Elchin,    —-In 1071 Seljuk nomadic warriors fought Byzantine empire in the battle of Manzikert. At the time Seljuks were invaders. They had no state formation of their own. Cilicia was the last sovereign Armenian Kingdom at the Mediterranean shore that managed to last until the early 15th century AD.  What books are you reading?

  29. Remember….there was no ‘war’ between the Ottoman Empire and Armenia. That would have been impossible, as there was no Armenian state at the time. The Armenians within the borders of the Ottoman Empire were citizens of that empire and, more importantly, inhabitants and owners of that land since well into pre-history. So, while the CUP waged war against a group of its own citizens, there was no equivalent response. The idea that this was a ‘war’ implies two states engaging in battle. It was nothing of the sort. It was an imperial force pummeling it’s own population and then stealing its immovable assets. The theft continued well into the 20th C. Those who continue to promote the nationalist Turkish thesis are telling the world to think grand theft is something that it is not, but the frosted glass is clearing and even those who rule Turkey today cannot help but see clearly what every Armenian has known for at least a century.

  30. ‘During these wars, there were living several thousand Armenian children
    under the protection of the Great Ottoman Empire.’

    Papken, you must have meant several hundred thousand Armenian children.
    It would be unnatural for 2-2.5 Million Armenians to have only a few thousand children.

  31. Yes James, you are confused.
    Equating the, quote, ‘invention’, of fire with the concept of civilization shows how truly confused you are.
    Fire was not invented, it was discovered (…do you know what the difference is ?).
    Fire was discovered by humans about 300,000-400,000  years ago. Please educate us as to which civilization discovered it.
    The wheel was invented: best estimate is around 8,000 BC.
    Please educate us as to which civilization was it that invented the wheel around 8,000 BC.
    Armenians even failed to defend their homeland…
    How typical of the progeny of nomadic invaders who equates civilization with the ability to kill and destroy.
    Turks fail to defend their own troops against the PKK, who freely operate inside  Turkey and can apparently attack and kill Turk troops at will.
    I know Turks consider PKK a lot of things, but I am sure very few, if any,  consider them civilized.
    Shouldn’t  you, James, consider PKK highly civilized ? More civilized than Turks by your own yardstick – the one that says if you cannot defend yourself against people who are more skilled than you  in the art of killing – are more civilized than you ?


    you are posting under just_checking, but you have apparently done no checking at all.
    re: Gayane’s disclosing of a personal email thread so publicly.’
    Gayane disclosed no personal email publicly, because there was NO personal email. (yes, I do know Gayane)
    The poster commenting under ‘Robert’ commented about his alleged tragedy on the Comment threads of Armenian Weekly.
    (I say alleged, because his pre-behaviour  and post-behaviour strongly indicate the tragedy  story was concocted for ulterior motives.)
    News Flash: anything you, I or anybody else  posts @AW and  is published by AW is Public, and  is visible  to anyone in the world who has access to the web. There is zero privacy as far as one’s published comments are concerned.
    Lack of  knowledge of ‘Roberts’ MO (plural: actually more than one person) and their Anti-Armenian Denialist postings  come to our mind.
    I can’t speak for others, but anyone who insults us by insulting our exterminated Armenian ancestors deserves no consideration.

  33. While  you people are continuing  your give  and take with a few Robert  and Mustapha  like ,news  big  news,interesting news  on the int”l  political scene is taking centrestage.
    Why  as  of yesterday  my wished for  Turkish  KHERS  has flared..meanming  the Turkish wrath.Mr. Davut oglu   foreign  Ministre  of great  Turkey has ordered Israeli Ambassador  out  of Ankara, Turkey.You know  the dispute and conflict  now  that  started  last  year in Mediterranean  waters,when Israeli comandos invaded a turkish vessel carrying “humanitarian ”  aid to the Palestinians…
    Now then,if I may venture  to speculate,I don’t think Mr. Netanyahoo, will let this insult go by without a reprisal. Is  it too much well wishing  or  just speculating  that  this may end up in some  sort  of new regional antagonism and in extension confrontation…
    One can never set aside  or stop to wonder  what  these like  diplomats’ next  move can be. One scenario-indeed  hypothetical-  is that before real confrontations,arm wise,Israel will now begin to side  up ,firstly with the Kurds and then Armenians.There was talk,rather postings  in this respect-please look it  up in Los Angeles times  and NY times webs  of yesterday.It  is not just  me  here making suppositions…
    and  then  if  actual  Turkish Khers-wrath- comes on stage WAR WAR  …
    Turkish Air  force  strafing  this time over  real badly over those Rebel Kurds whether in Iraq  or Motherland Turkey  and then when  Khers   dos  not subside…turning towards Diarbakir  and further East  near  Armenian borders,  on towards  Nakhijevan in order to break through to Azerbaijan-little brother- to teach tbhose Armenians  of Karaqbagh  a lesson, who dared  retake  Armenian lands  from Turco- Azeris.How  dare they!!!
    In which case Israelis will also be involved, since  mr. Erdo gan  has promised to travel to GAZA  on Turkish  flotilla…..My God  !!!  should  I stiop here  or go  on…
    Next  the Best  Airforce  of the Region  if  not  of all the world  , the Israeli one will  really  give  it to Mr. Erdogan  and co. what  they dared  to challenge…
    Someone  else  pleasde  pick  it  up where I am leaving  it off… 

  34. Turkey nor anyone else is going to give back anything that is or could be of use to them.  There was a short period when Cuba allowed Cubans to emigrate to the United States, they sent their prisoners – just an old trick that too many are seemingly naive enough to fall prey to.  If Turkey or any country or people could make good use of any properties, I find it unbelievable that they would be willing to relunquish it to readily.

  35. Avery, technically you are very right. I intended to base my argument based on the facts established by Turks themselves. That is why, I started by stating undisputed facts. Even one child is too many! To be more correct, we must claim there were more than 10 million Armenians murdered by Turks and et al. Since 1915, the population of Turkey has increased 6 folds. If there was no genocide, there would have been 10-12 million Armenians living in Turkey by now, not only 60,000. Thank you for you corrections.

  36. Gaytzag,

    Please re-read your post above. People like you, who salivate at the very thought of instigating and aggitating conflicts, praying that it will spread so that death will reign supreme in those regions, are the real dangers and threats to the planet! You have just shown your true colors! You also know nothing in regards to the floatilla incident, Turkish-Jewish relations throughout history, etc.!

  37.  Just-checking (hmmm )))

    you stated in your September 2, 2011

    I find in bad taste that you guys use against Robert his sharing of a personal tragedy story. He and you might disagree bitterly, but don’t take such cheap shots. Especially offensive, I think, is Gayane’s disclosing of a personal email thread so publicly. Lack of class is what comes to mind. Even if Robert is an idiot, you should hold yourself to a higher standard than this, 

    You must be new to the internet/technology concept and simply to public forums..It is sad.. truly sad how captive your govt keeps you people… I really do feel they are depriving you from outside world and it is not beneficial for you… break away from that “just-checking”.. break away…this is if you are a Turk… can’t tell from your made up name…

    As my friend Avery beautifully replied to your comment; I will add the following:

    Pointing out the facts is actually going above and beyond what any of the denialists can offer on these pages… Robert’s story with all the posts included above will be posted over and over and over and over and over again until Robert realizes that belittleing the 1.5 innocent lives taken away by brutal murder, diminishing the memory of my perished ancestors among other denialists comments are not going to go well with me or any of us on these pages…the story will be shared over and over and over again to show the world how conyving and manipulative Robert is….. to stand here and lie straight to our face by using the story of his brother.. He himself is belittling the memory of his brother by continuing to be the same denialist in a better looking, sugar coated clothes.. we smell it, see it and read it.. so instead of trying to sound intelligent by pointing out something you do not have any clue about, please do your research read everything that there is about the discussion thread before posting.
    Thank you and have a nice technology free life…

  38. Robert- please save us the details.. you asking Gaydzag what he does not know.. why don’t you look at yourself first.. what DO you know of the history.. the actual history and not the history you have been taught by your superior govt??? hmmm??? Oh by the way, which Robert are you?? which one of you is posting right now? please do share because curious minds are acquiring??

    Don’t be shy.. we know you have many faces.. a great epitomy of how your govt is as well..

    Thank you


  39. Dear Gayan,
                      I can see clearly what will happen the future of a place called Turkey..Turks will be surrounded by Iran, Israel, Greece, Armenia, Kurdistan, Russia and EU power..I am sure “Robert the turk” and I won’t be around, but that land will be divided, for sure…just like Ottomans was divided and some RIGHTFUL owners found their lost identities, same thing will happen to Turkey, the “new RIGHTFUL owners” will rise again in the land of Byzantine..  

  40. Grish Begian, I don’t know about the Robert the Turk, however, I am sure you and I and all of my dear fellow Armenians will march on our Western Armenia before leaving this planet. Turkey is very unstable now than ever. We need a strong foreign policy  toward the Turks. Lately, our president’s declarations have been more align with real Armenians expectations. All we need is to have a patriotic Armenian leader to stand against all foreign presures and pursue only our national interest. We have potential to be a super power in the region.

  41. To Robert,
    Yes indeed,I have learnt my lesson from you people and tried to accomplish  it further.Why not? you thought it was your monopoly? somehow your post above  had escaped  my attn:
    Read  what  Papken and  GRISH,above have commented and meditate.
    I have contempt only for people  who only think what they say is right!!! 

  42. My Grandmother(92 years old) hold many deeds for land that was rightfully her mothers in turkey some 500 plus acres. We have had very little luck in having these documents translated as they are old world Turkish from the previous alphabet. We would like to submit claims to have the land returned to the family. Does anyone know how to go about this? Chris Shekian

  43. Chris Shekian:
    can you somehow contact Taner Ackam? He can read and translate old turk documents. He is one of the brave Turks who acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and has written many books. You may perhaps be able to contact him through his publishers. very good luck. keep us posted. Your grandmother is astonishingly fortunate to have escaped with deeds. Most of our people barely escaped with the clothing on their back. please keep us updated on this. don’t give up.

    • A simple google search will bring up contact info on Taner Akcam.

      Also see if the Uğur Ümit Üngör might be of some help: http://uu.academia.edu/UgurUmitUngor

      He has done research on property, wealth and business ownership of Armenians and other minorities in Ottoman times leading up to and after 1915. I don’t know if he responds to requests such as Shekian’s but he may have some info. He might even have come across documents on Shekian’s ancestral lands.

  44. Chris Shekian
    I am glad that it is the first time I have heard something serious here. Just for your information, If you have deeds, your ownership has no time limit so you can lodge a case at the local Turkish court.It doesn’t matter your deeds are in old or new Turkish alphabet. The court will have to get an official translation from a recognised translator. I think that you have a very good chance to get a financial compensation equivalent of your property as Turkey accepts the European human right court decision which means if you can not get a satisfactory result after the trial in Turkey. You can lodge a case at this court and Turkey will have to accept the court result.You should also be careful when dealing with the lawyers in Turkey. having said that I also got a big problem with a lawyer abusing the client interest here in Europe. I strongly advise you to send an email to Orhan Kemal Cengiz who is a columnist at Todays zaman. I disagree with him regarding the Armenian genocide however, He is also a lawyer who can tell you the right direction

    • john the turk,

      Your post is ironically optimistic :) I think there would be great resistance to any such case in Turkish courts. I would think that this case would be immediately stalled or outright rejected out of the fear it would set a precedent. There are strong attitudes that Armenians should not get back any reparations and lands, no matter how legitimate.

      Contacting Cengiz would probably be another good lead.

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