Wasn’t It Bad Enough?

Wasn’t it bad enough when they took 1,500,000 lives?

Wasn’t it bad enough that they left hundreds of thousands orphaned and homeless?

Wasn’t it bad enough that hundreds of thousands more were forced to mask their true identities for three generations and counting?

Wasn’t it bad enough that even a generation later, many Armenians were either literally or spiritually still orphans?

Wasn’t it bad enough when an orphanage, inspired in 1962, and its buildings, constructed by the very orphans it housed, were stolen from the Armenian community of Bolis through legal chicanery in 1973, though somehow it managed to keep operating through 1985?

Wasn’t it bad enough that even the 2011 law enabling restoration of properties usurped from minorities living in Turkey was deemed inapplicable because the original sale to the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church had been annulled (technically meaning the sale never “occurred”) by the court system in 1973—more legal chicanery?

Wasn’t it bad enough that ethnic cleansing policies continued for decades under Turkish dominion, even extending to Cyprus?

Wasn’t it bad enough that the current regime ruling Ankara started out much better on minority issues than the horrible, post-protocols, post-bogus-Gallipoli commemorations, and post the description of soldiers massacring Armenians in Papert/Baberd (Bayburt in Turkish) as “heroism” that it has now degraded into?

Wasn’t it bad enough that a century later, when we should be (and are) moving on to reclaiming stolen properties, someone out there (this time technically from the Turkish private sector) is trying to deprive the Armenian nation of yet another small bit of our history, our hope, our structure, our memories, our places, by allowing the razing of Kamp Armen, in Tuzla—where Hrant Dink spent part of his childhood—by the current “owner” to build…who cares!

It’s wrong. It is another cultural black eye for the Turkish government that supposedly wants to “join” Europe. It is diametrically opposite of what current trends indicate, with lawsuits such as the See of Cilicia’s to regain its properties and the reclaiming of their true identities by an ever-increasing number of crypto-Armenians.

Take action, at least as much as is possible long distance, and back up what is happening on the ground.

Already, local candidates for office from two parties have spoken out on this. One of those parties is the ruling AKP, which might mean this issue makes it onto the government’s agenda.

It’s even more interesting, heartening, and exciting that these candidates are Armenians! And for the clincher, a civil society group named the “Nor Zartonk Initiative,” which has already been making waves through its anti-hate crime advocacy for the Armenian community, led what can only be described as a sit-in that prevented the demolition of the facility from being completed.

Sign this petition on the change.org website. Create more pressure. Pay more attention. Let’s make this the last Armenian property ever threatened by Turkish usurpation.



Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.
Garen Yegparian

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1 Comment

  1. thank you for article, Garen & for hope, that something positive can happen.

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