PARAMUS, N.J.—On Oct. 27, partial justice was realized in Turkey with the return of part of the grounds of “The Youth Home of Istanbul’s” Camp Armen, a summer camp in the Tuzla district of Istanbul, to its rightful owner, the Armenian Evangelical Church of Gedikpasha.
Camp Armen was home to more than 1,500 Armenian orphans, gathered from the depths of Anatolia and introduced to their faith and national origin by Hrant Guzelian. It was also where Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink and his wife Rakel met, grew up, and were married. The demolition of the camp began in May 2015.
AMAA Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian recently wrote to Ahmet Davutoglu, the prime minister of Turkey, thanking him and the Turkish government for their role in the partial resolution of the seizure of Camp Armen. Khanjian urged the prime minister to attain total justice with the return of the whole camp grounds, legally acquired and paid for by the Protestant Church and built by the sweat of its campers.
In his letter, Khanjian wrote, “Dear Prime Minister, we have come to understand that only a segment of the camp has been deeded to the church, while the remaining grounds which Hrant Dink and his fellow youth converted to an ‘Atlantis,’ remains to be deeded.”
“In order for justice to be complete and the camp to be functional, we urge you to seek the return of the whole grounds, legally acquired and paid for by the Protestant Church and built by the sweat of the campers, to its rightful owners—the Armenian Protestant Church of Istanbul of Gedik-Pasa.”