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Revisiting the Turkification of Confiscated Armenian Assets

If one person murders another, then takes over that murdered person’s property and possessions, he would be living off the proceeds of his crime. Once authorities discover his crime, he would be found guilty—by any court, anywhere—and then sentenced, punished, and forced to return the unlawfully obtained property and possessions. But if a people murders another people, and takes over the property and possessions of the murdered people, it seems that different rules apply, and the guilty—and their children—can continue living off the proceeds of the crime. It also seems that their successors can continue to threaten the successors of the murdered people with new murders, if, that is, they dared to mention the murder, or dared to demand the return of their property and possessions. This is the evolving saga of the Turkish and Armenian peoples from 1915 to today.

Horse manure at the entrance of one of the Armenian churches in Ani (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

The 1915 murder of a people—or perhaps, more correctly, the attempted murder of a people—not only resulted in wiping out the Armenians from their 4,000-year-old homeland within a matter of 1-2 years, but also initiated an ongoing process of wealth, property, and asset transfer from the Armenians to the Turks. This process, started in 1915 by the Ittihadist leadership of Ottoman Turkey, continued uninterrupted with the successor Turkish Republic for many decades using various legislative decrees. It was completed with the total and legal Turkification of all Armenian assets and properties—of the Armenians’ economic presence—in Anatolia.

This essay will attempt to explain the legal Turkification process, provide examples illustrating the enormity of the assets involved, and discuss recent initiatives to reverse this process (including steps taken by the Armenians, and steps announced by the present Turkish government).

***

Kilifina uydurmak, in Turkish, means to “fit the sword to the sheath.” One would normally expect that the sword is made first, and the sheath to fit it. But if there is an unacceptable action first, followed by other actions needed to give it the appearance of a proper action—that is, to “make right” the original action—then this phrase is used to define the situation. “Fit the sword to the sheath” is a perfect description of the legislative process of the Turkification of Armenian assets.

On May 27, 1915, just weeks after the deportation of Armenians had begun in the April 1915, the Ottoman Parliament passed the Deportation Legislation. This was followed by The Liquidation Legislation, which tried to give some semblance of legality to the plunder of Armenian assets that took place after the deportations. This legislation, dated June 10, 1915, and further reinforced on Sept. 26, 1915, directed the formation of Liquidation Commissions in the provinces where the deportations occurred. The legislation defined the Armenians as “transported persons” and their assets as “abandoned assets,” as if the Armenians had willingly abandoned them. It provided the first steps to liquidate the assets, and gave the state power to decide to whom the assets should be given, or sold, and for how much, without the approval of the owners (but on their behalf). By January 1916, there were 33 Liquidation Commissions formed, covering all of Anatolia, recording, listing, appraising, and holding on deposit some of the assets for future return to the Armenians, but also selling or distributing other assets to Muslim refugees. The legislation also stipulated that assets belonging to Armenian charitable foundations, such as churches or schools, be transferred to the State Directorate of Charitable Foundations or the State Treasury. Cash and movable assets of the transported persons were to be collected and kept in a Special Trust account on behalf of the owners. Naturally, having the pick of any asset left behind, thousands of government officials and members of the Liquidation Commission enriched themselves, as did thousands of local Turks and Kurds who seized the houses, farms, orchards, warehouses, factories, mines, hotels, shops, stores, tools, and livestock once owned by the Armenians.

The whereabouts of the dossiers belonging to these 33 Liquidation Commissions is a mystery. The Turkish state, which boasts that all their archives are open (and persistently calls for Armenian archives to be opened even though they are, in fact, open), continues to keep these crucial records of Armenian assets a secret. Interestingly, in 2005 when the present Turkish government attempted to comply with European Union (EU) modernization initiatives by translating, digitizing, and opening up the old Ottoman land registry and deed records to the public, it was prevented from doing so by a stern warning—dated Aug. 26, 2005—from the National Security Committee of the Turkish Armed Forces. “The Ottoman records kept at the Land Register and Cadaster Surveys General Directorate offices must be sealed and not available to the public, as they have the potential to be exploited by alleged genocide claims and property claims against the State Charitable Foundation assets,” read the warning. “Opening them to general public use is against state interests.”

When the Ottomans were defeated and the Ittihadist leaders fled Istanbul in a German submarine, the newly elected Ottoman government on Jan. 8, 1920, rescinded the Liquidation Legislation and directed the return of all Armenian assets, or equivalent compensation, to their rightful owners. Unfortunately, the Istanbul government itself got liquidated before the legislation was implemented, and the nationalist government gaining strength in Ankara immediately took steps to abolish it. It seems that the Ankara parliamentarians, who were mostly Ittihadists, were more pre-occupied with the Armenian assets than the “Liberation War” raging against the Greeks raging at the time. These Ittihadists, gathered around Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, had two strong motives to join the Ankara government: First, to ensure that they held on to the assets that they had plundered, and to ensure that they prevented these assets from being returned to any surviving Armenians; and second, to escape any prosecution and punishment for “crimes against humanity” by the Ottoman Istanbul government and the Allied forces occupying Istanbul, who were actively searching for them.

The Ankara parliament later annulled the Istanbul Parliament legislation, reinstated the Ittihadist Liquidation Legislation on Sept. 14, 1922, and appointed new members for the Liquidation Commissions, thereby enriching local notables. The term “transported persons” was changed to “persons lost or fled from the country.” The legislation stated that if these persons ever returned, they would receive their assets and deposits; otherwise, all assets would be sold with the proceeds going to the state treasury, after verification by the courts regarding lost or fled persons. As the requirement of court verification for lost or fled persons proved difficult, the legislation was revised on April 29, 1923, giving lost or fled persons, or previous owners, four months (if within the country) or six months (if abroad) to claim their assets. In September 1923, the parliament passed legislation banning the return of Armenians to Cilicia and east Anatolia. With further amendments in a new legislation dated March 13, 1926, the state sold the assets to local Turkish investors with a low 1915 wartime assessment on the assets instead of current values. (It is estimated that the assets’ value would have increased by more than 12 times from 1915-26.) It was also specified that any returning Armenians would not receive the actual assets, but cash, based on the legislated 1915 valuation. This legislation was in effect until 1988; if, until then, any Armenian came to claim compensation, it would have been assessed based on 1915 valuation. In August 1926, legislation was brought in for the state to nationalize any assets left behind and not claimed by the Armenians prior to the 1924 Lausanne Treaty.

Another legislation, dated May 31, 1926, enabled families and heirs of “martyrs”—officials executed by the Istanbul government for their role in the Armenian deportations—or Ittihadists assassinated by Armenians, to receive pensions deemed “blood money” from the revenues of the Armenian assets. This legislation was also in effect until 1988.

In addition to the Armenian assets held by the Turkish state, the issue of assets held by individual Turks was the subject of fierce debates in parliament. Since most of these assets were held without any documentation, there were problems in their transfer and sale. On May 24, 1928, new deeds were prepared for the Armenian assets, and on June 2, 1929, new legislation gave the right to title and deed to possessors of real estate for a specified period. Accordingly, any vacant land such as fields, orchards, and farmland held for 15 years since 1914, and any buildings or other real estate held for 10 years since 1919, became the legal property of the individuals who had bought, stolen, occupied, or seized them.

The legal Turkification of the assets was now complete. Yet, not all of the individuals who had bought the assets from the state treasury were able to make the required payments. New amendments were approved in 1931 that reduced and then canceled debts and mortgages to the treasury, thereby encouraging the growth of the “Turkified” economy.

The deposits held by the state treasury on behalf of the deported people was handled by legislation dated May 24, 1928, which legalized the straight transfer of the funds to the state budget, starting with 300,000 Turkish lira in 1928. Based on a proportional increase of the Turkish state budget 920 times from 1928 to 2008, this would be equivalent to 276 billion Turkish lira today, or US$150 billion. Another 3.9 million Turkish lira from the Armenian deposits was transferred to the state budget by 1931, marked as revenue from the assets or taxes on the assets.

It is difficult to assess the value of the Armenian assets seized by the Ottoman/Turkish Republic governments and by individuals, but existing pieces of the puzzle can provide a glimpse into the enormity of the theft. In 1916, the sum of 5 million Ottoman Turkish lira, equivalent to 30,000 kilograms of gold, was transferred by the Ottoman government to the Reichsbank in Berlin. This large sum of money, deposited during wartime, would be the aggregate of Armenian deposits and sums gained from the Liquidation Commissions. There are further unknown gold deposits at the Deutche Bank. During U.S. Senate discussions related to the Armenian assets, the figure of $40 million was mentioned. In terms of real assets, Ittihadist leader Talat Pasha’s own records indicate that in 1915, 20,545 buildings, 267,536 acres of land, 76,942 acres of vineyards, 703,941 acres of olive groves, and 4,573 acres of mulberry gardens were allocated to Muslim settlers out of the assets seized from the Armenians.

Based on a population loss of 1.5 million, and 10 persons to a family, the loss of houses alone would number at least 150,000. There were 2,900 Armenian settlements emptied of their population; in these settlements, there were 2,300 churches and 700 schools under the jurisdiction of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate and the Apostolic Church. Once the Armenian Catholic and Protestant churches and schools are added to this sum, the number easily exceeds 4,000. Most of these churches and schools had their own charitable foundations to generate revenue for their upkeep and maintenance. For example, the Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd, one of the largest churches in the Middle East with a large parish and community, owned more than 200 properties in Diyarbakir as part of its charitable foundation. The foundation of the Sanasaryan College in Erzurum/Garin owned several shops and houses in Erzurum, as well as the Sanasaryan Office building in Istanbul, to pay for the school’s expenses. The two Armenian hospitals, Surp Prgitch (Holy Savior) and Surp Agop, had vast holdings in Istanbul to pay for the hospital building and staff expenses, as well as to provide subsidized medical care to poor Armenians.

All of these assets, except the two hospitals and some of the Istanbul Armenian churches and schools, disappeared after 1915. If not destroyed outright or left to deteriorate, the church and school buildings were converted into banks, mosques, state schools, community centers, stables, or warehouses. Armenian houses were taken over by local Turks and Kurds, or by Muslim refugee settlers from the Balkans. The Armenian economic assets such as farms, orchards, olive groves, stores, factories, mines became the foundation stones of the Turkish economy and the starting capital of most of the wealthy Turkish industrialists of today. The Turkish government continued the seizure of Armenian assets and the legalization of it up until the 2000s. With legislation brought in 1974, more than 1,400 legally obtained assets of the Istanbul Armenian charitable foundations since 1936, were declared illegal and seized by the state.

In the last three years, the Turkish state has taken some steps to reverse the process of nationalizing Armenian assets. After losing several cases—taken by Istanbul-Armenian charitable foundations to the European Human Rights Court—related to the seizure of assets, the state recently announced that 162, or about 10 percent, of the assets seized after 1974 would be returned to the Armenian charitable foundations. Although this is an encouraging first step, there is no mention of any return of the assets seized in 1915. And the figure of 162 pales in comparison with the hundreds of thousands of seized assets.

When the Turkish state decided to restore the Akhtamar Holy Cross Church in Van, it did so only by converting it to a state museum. When the Armenian communities raised funds worldwide to restore the Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir as a working church, the Turkish state refused to provide any funding. The process of reclaiming the 200 properties belonging to the Surp Giragos Church is ongoing through the courts and negotiations with the Diyarbakir city government. The Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate has now decided to go to court to reclaim the Sanasaryan Office building in Istanbul as the first test-case related to the return of an Armenian asset seized in 1915. Indications are that the government will vigorously challenge this case, as it may set a precedent for multiple claims to follow.

The murdered people cannot be reclaimed nor returned. But their assets can and must be reclaimed by their successors. The assets seized by the murderers can and must be returned by their successors. This would be a start in the process, based on dialogue and non-violence, of facing the past.

***

Ayse Hur, “Ermeni Mallarini Kimler Aldi” (Who Got the Armenian Assets?), Taraf, Istanbul, March 2, 2008.

Taner Akcam, Ermeni Meselesi Hallolmustur, Iletisim Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2008.

Ugur Ungor, “Confiscation and Colonization: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property,” The Armenian Weekly Magazine, April 2011.

Nevzat Onaran, Emvali Metruke Olayi: Osmanlida ve Cumhuriyette Ermeni ve Rum Mallarinin Turklestirilmesi (The Abandoned Assets Event: The Seizure/Turkification of Armenian and Greek Assets), Belge Yayinlari, Istanbul 2010.

Raffi Bedrosyan, “Searching for Lost Armenian Churches and Schools in Turkey,” The Armenian Weekly, Aug. 1, 2011.

Raffi Bedrosyan, “What is Turkey Returning to Armenians?” The Armenian Weekly, Aug. 31, 2011.

38 Comments on Revisiting the Turkification of Confiscated Armenian Assets

  1. nobody is preventing armenians from living in turkey. and armenians have a country to call their own, which they had not before 1915. so i am confused as to what needs to be returned? what losses are you actually claiming here, 2000 year old churches?

    • Theox before 1915 there was a large Armenian, Greek and Assyrian population living in Anatolia itself, under Turkish occupation, that had lived there for nearly 3k years way before any Seljuk Turks came in 1070.. These peoples had land, wealth, livestock, businesses, schools, churches etc. In 1915, a plan was implemented by the Young Turk regime and ALL WAS TAKEN AND BASICALLY STOLEN, THROUGH FORCEFUL DEPORTATION WHERE BY THE MAJORITY WAS OUTRIGHT MURDERED..The purpose of this crime was theft. The denial of this crime is to avoid the return of the lands and the wealth that was stolen..

      I STILL HAVE DEEDS TO THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF LAND STOLEN BY TURKS. THAT’S WHAT WE ARE ALL TALKING ABOUT..

    • “nobody is preventing armenians from living in turkey.”

      Actually Ottoman and CUP Turks prevented Armenians not only living in their own country, Western Armenia, but Turks prevented Armenians from living anywhere at all – by exterminating approximately 2 million of them.

      And you need to work on your confusion: obviously you have access to the web. You can deprogram yourself from the warped word view you received from your Turkish Ministry of (mis)Education.

    • Did you read the article? or do you pretend not to understand the meaning of the legislations passed by the Parliament in Ankara? If you claim not to understand the meaning, then why did your government found it very important to seal the ‘armenian case’ with legislations, and banning armenian from returning to their homelands……
      You say that none is preventing Armenians to living in Turkey, well what do you think would be the reaction of the people of Zeitun, my grandfather’s town, in Cilicia, if I decide to settle there, claiming what is rightfully mine?
      So please be serious in your response, and think before getting angry. Whatever solution , if ever, comes between Turkey and Armenia, should be based on Universal Human Rights and respect. There are surely myriads of problems, issues that need to be solved, before we can sit around a table, you and me, drinking sweet wind and eating kebab, singing and enjoying God’s gifts…. It all starts with good intentions….

    • theox,

      What is your definition of a loss and compensation?

      Even the Turkish presidential palace at Cankaya is stolen Armenian property. Its rightful owners, an Armenian businessman and his family, were dispossessed in Turkish style and perished during the Armenian Genocide. How did you think the property ended up in Turkish hands? You thought it was purchased in fair trade? Or do you think it’s not a loss for the family who owned it? Or do you think anything Armenians have created or own is automatically a Turkish possession?

      What losses are we talking about? All losses. They don’t start or end with ancient churches. Thousands of businesses, lands, farms, orchards, houses, financial assets, not to mention the loss of human life. Are you sure you are confused? I think you should be ashamed instead.

      “and armenians have a country to call their own, which they had not before 1915. so i am confused as to what needs to be returned?”

      What’s confusing is this sentence of yours. If we have a country then nothing was stolen from us? Or did YOU gift us our country? It exists despite all the odds, despite all the efforts to annihilate the Armenian nation. Please explain how one can view current Armenia as compensation by Turks for Turkish theft and murders.

  2. Theox,

    If the Turkish government can go around the world claiming 2,000 year old Greek and Roman antiquities, it should be prepared to disgorge its ill gotten gains.

    Raffi,

    Thank you for this well written and highly informative piece.

  3. Thank you Raffi for this informative piece. I hope to see many claims for return of assets generated.

  4. avatar john the turk // April 17, 2012 at 11:53 am // Reply

    “” When the Armenian communities raised funds worldwide to restore the Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir as a working church, the Turkish state refused to provide any funding.””

    Your article is flawed in may ways.I know for a fact that the Diyarbakir council provided more than a million dollars for the renovation. Is the Diyarbakir council not part of Turkey? How did they provide this money if they didn’t have a budged allocated from the state budget? I can criticize so many things that’s why you do not stand any chance in your claim

  5. the ox,

    you mean if tomorrow I return to Kars where my grandparents-built house still stands and re-claim all that’s been stolen by the Turks—the house, the nearby backyard where my grandfather tilled the soil, our personal properties inside the house all left in haste before genocidal Turks arrived, bank accounts, etc. Turkey will not prevent me from living in it?

    What if 8 million Diasporan Armenians someday return to their ancestral provinces of Van, Erzrum, Kharberd, Bitlis, Digranakerd (Diyarbekir) and Sebastia (Sivas), where their ancestors were mass murdered and deported from, will Turkey not prevent them from living in them?

    • “What if 8 million Diasporan Armenians someday return to their ancestral provinces..”

      Can somebody help with the math?
      If the Ottoman Empire had an estimated Armenian population between 1.6-2 million (according to the 1912 estimates by Toynbee) and an estimated 1.5 million were victims of genocide, how does one arrive at 8 million direct decedents in 2012?

    • Ani,I loved your sharp sense of humor.You made my day.

    • Zeki,

      When you do the math and find out how population in Turkey from 13.6 million (1927) can skyrocket to 74.7 (2011), you will not need anyone to help you with the math to calculate the increase of diasporan Armenian population. By diasporan Armenians, I mean Armenians who survived the Hamidian massacres and genocide by Ottoman Turks and built a new life in the countries that accepted and sheltered them.

  6. avatar gaytzag palandjian // April 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm // Reply

    Rafi Bedrosian has taken pains and prepared in an essay format the LIST of near all,or even probably all real estate, riches confiscated by the Ottoman turkey and then legalized(sort of) by successor govt.s of the Ottoman Turkey.
    However, there are some other issues involved much more important-this is my view-I respect his and /or others.
    1. Armenians should first of all DEMANDE BLOOD MONEY FOR THE 1.5

  7. avatar gaytzag palandjian // April 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm // Reply

    I don´t know why all of sa sudden my above post was interrupted!!!!
    May I go on please?1.5 million of our ancestors put to death ,whether killed/murdered in their habitats and/or like my grandfather and uncle ON DEATH MARCH TOWARDS THE SYRIAN DESERTS.
    for this has precedent(the jewish one,as well as claims by Armenianattorneys,namely Vartges Yeghiayan from New York Life and AXA insuracne companies) .Latter though very small compared to the main above 1.5 million lives destroyed indeed but a PRECEDENT, nonetheless,as the Jewish one.
    As rgds land Real estate -that includes not omnly personal properties by public Armenian asssets such as Churhces monasteries ,schools and hospitals,these will -in my view-divert MAIN ABOVE BLOOD MONEY ISSUE.I shall explain why. Firstly most of those have been totally erased from face of the earth only one percent or even less standing(meaning the churches monasteries etc.,9 some schools or hospitals either altered into other public buildings or else destroyed .
    More importantly Armenians -unfortunately did not live in Western Armenia(Anatolia) in specifically concentrated areas,but dispersed rather quite widely.Take a look at the map that shows where they were located in red dots where the killings took place. One reason why when such a debate is started with turks and they are cornered,they will say O.K. come and resettle there.
    Something we should never agree to,since they imagine this ,nay they MEAN THIS to be under their sovereignty-Flag so to say.No we do not wish to be submitted to yet another GENOCIDE.Consider-and please don´t forget what happend only WEEKS AGO IN TAKSIM SQUARE IN ISTANBULLA!!!!
    Moreover,never forget that on most of those lands now some ,anywhere from 14 to 16 million Kurds(previously dubbed by Turkey as ¨mountain turks¨¨ are well rooted. Impossible to throw them into Black sea or Mediterranea -so to say- They ar e there and Armenians must come to terms ABOVE ALL WITH KURDS IN bELIUM OR ANY OTHER country where they have their parliament or supreme Council in Diaspora.
    Turkey,rather great Turkey-made so by ¨allies¨ will only give in when we Armenians have mustered REAL CLOUT AND AS ONE ENTITY ,half in Homeland and half in Diaspora Lodge our Cliams at ICJ and other int´l instances, such as U.N. etc., that also well concerted with the K u r d s.
    We cannot expect them to budge unless we show BOTH HUMAN AND M A T E R I A L Strength(resources).Otherwise they will like in the past see us as a Fragmented lot dispersed all over the world without head or tail,SO TO SAY
    A non entity,sorry to say.
    thence WE MUST SERIOUSLY THINK ,DECIDE AND REALIZE OUR :-
    Diaspora Supreme Council and this RECOGNIZED BY gOVT. OF ARMENIA as Li Irav (full fledged) PARTNER,WITHOUT ANY FEAR OR HESITATION.
    Why should Armenia fear to declare that WE CONSIDER AND APPROVE OF THIS SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE ARMENIAN DIASPORA as such????
    I shall gladly go on for further info,but please reaad my few last months articles in ……www.armeniannews.info……. wherein I ahve detailed my Theses which is not new,have developed re developed many a time over.
    Have my friends still there in Beirut and Paris…
    best to my dear compatriots,who care really wish for AMALGAMATION, COOPERATION , RE-ORGANIZATION and not make do with present status quo.

  8. “The murdered people cannot be reclaimed nor returned. ”

    Regarding the above sentence,please see mr. H. Sassounian’s article ‘Two Faces of Turkey: Veneer of Gentility Masking Ruthlessness’:
    http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/04/17/two-faces-of-turkey-veneer-of-gentility-masking-ruthlessness/#comments

    “Not counting the value of the properties, lands, and other assets confiscated from Armenian victims of the genocide, Garapedian assessed as $15 billion the restitution value of the 1.5 million Armenians who had perished.Her estimate is based on Germany’s $60 billion restitution payment since 1952 for the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. ‘

  9. Yes – it was alot more than a few churches. As indigenous inhabitants, more than 2 million Armenians lived in Anatolia/ancient Armenia since well before pre-history – at least 4000 years, but likely even more. Their claims on the land were and are, deep and historic. They owned, farmed and cultivated vast tracts of Anatolia, not just small dots here and there, and produced all the food for the empire for a millenium. The ‘Turks’ sat on Armenia like an octopus and directed a military, imperial force that lived off the labor of the conquered peoples, while doing none of the work themselves. That was their contribution…to feed and grow wealthy from those who lived under their tentacles. Their subjects did everything for them, including designing and building some of the most amazing and beautiful buildings in the world, like the Blue Mosque…as well as palaces, like the Dolmabache. It’s high time for Turkey to recognize the contributions made to the country by its Armenian citizens, and return to them what rightfully belongs to them, as part of the apology they will make for conducting a horrific campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing that led to the destruction of an entire people – on their own land.

  10. about blood money;

    i find it wrong to actually set a value to lives of people

    moreover,
    because of all the deaths, if you consider the potential and the actual cultural and other types of information lost – to which it is very difficullt, practiically impossible to set a value on….

  11. I do not find anything wrong with the blood money.Every penny will help my nation & survival.

    • alright then…go ahead, set a dollar figure on your murdered grandparents and relatives

      how much ?

    • Blood money is OUR RIGHT, is a weapon & means, which cannot absolutely be set aside.Jews did not lose A HOMELAND.Value can always be decided at the proper time.

    • what does homeland have to do with blood money ?
      blood money is given for people murdered, not for homelands

      do you consider the historic homeland gone, so you want it’s value’s worth ?

      by the way, what i am discussing is completely different than all those losses that Raffi talks about in his article – those are pretty much automatic

      additional compensations must be made
      but, i think most people want compensations for the wrong things

    • What is your point LNG?Argument for argument’s sake or discussion to come into an understanding?
      Yes & of course Western Armenia homeland is gone.What else?
      I claim not only blood money but GENOCIDE BLOOD MONEY.

  12. avatar gaytzag palandjian // April 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm // Reply

    LNG,
    Please…before you post/write,see what others have commented on above article.And I refer to Vtiger( just above another and then his.
    Wherein he quotes Garapedian , who has assessed that Jews since 1952 have received 60 billion dollars…

  13. In 1969, the United States landed on the Moon, which is an Armenian property. The USA should give it back to its sole owners.

  14. avatar john the turk // April 21, 2012 at 9:46 am // Reply

    Zeki
    Who cares what you say!! This is the Armenian universe and welcome to the club

  15. Zeki,

    Do Turks like you know such a thing as natural progression? Can you in turn help me with the math? If 2-2.5 million Armenians (the Armenian Patriarchate estimate) were living on their ancestral lands for thousands of years before 1915 and now only 60,000 survive, what in your Turkish view could have happened to these native people? Also, if Armenians were left untouched, what approximate number could live in a modern-day Turkey after almost 100 years? For this you’d first need to educate yourself on natural progression as well as familiarize yourself with the savage barbarity of your Ottoman predecessors.

    • Well said Ani:

      In case Turkish Ministry of misEducation has failed yet another one their students, below I provide various estimates – as a public service to our dear Turkish guests.

      Armenian Population Growth Estimates

      Starting Year: 1895 (when 300,000 Armenians were massacred)
      Ending Year: 2011
      Starting Population: 2 million (the number that were exterminated in total)

      Population Growth Rate: 3%
      Ending Population: 61 million

      Population Growth Rate: 2.5%
      Ending Population: 35 million

      Population Growth Rate: 2%
      Ending Population: 20 million

      Population Growth Rate: 1.5%
      Ending Population: 11 million

      NOTE: the following Natural population growth rates are for Armenia SSR.
      Year 1960: 3.56%
      Year 1970: 2.49%
      Year 1980: 1.68%
      Year 1987: 1.78%

      The growth rate fell sharply after 1987 and went negative: we all know why.
      It has slowly started recovering since then.

      Year 2010: 0.23%

      Clearly, if left undisturbed, the approximately 2 million Armenians that Ottoman and CUP Turks exterminated (1895-1923), would have naturally grown to anywhere from 10 million to up to 60 million MORE Armenians in the world.

    • Ani, natural progression or inflation is what I’m trying to work out. Where did you extract the 2.5m population figure from? Even Kevorkian and Paboudjian (1992) estimates of 1,914,620 are considered at the upper end. Then factoring in genocide of 1.5m that leaves a population of 414,620. Calculating natural progress of this population between 1918 and 2012 provides estimates of diaspora of 1.7m (1.5% population growth) or 4.2m (2.5% population growth). Even at phenomenally high growth rates of 2.5% (which is equivalent African rates growth rates i.e. on average 5 children per family), that falls far short of your 8m decendents from the Ottoman empire?

  16. avatar gaytzag palandjian // April 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm // Reply

    Dear Ani,
    There is -so far – no Armenian unanimous wish /desire to FORM, Reform into one Entity.And as long as we do not learn to cooperate, we shall have to endure such empty ,rather veno,mous remarks by turks or rather turco azeris..
    I was a bit relieved few mintues ago when on one of Armenia T.v. channels (Epi ketron or Ketron , the newscast quote as Iran claiming( they are beginning to counter-act as to Israeli-Azeri alliance and latter getting weapons from Israel…that and I quote¨¨THERE ARE CLOSE TO HALF MILLION IRANIANS OF TALISH ORIGIN WITHIN AZERBAIJAN,NEXT TO IRAN AND THEY MIGHT BE GRANTED IRANIAN CITIZENSHIP by us¨¨¨
    tHIS SORT OF DIPLOMACY IS WHAT MAKES ONE PROUD OF HAVING DIPLOMATS…

  17. When the Seljuks first arrived in Anatolia/Armenia, the vast majority of the population was entirely native Armenian. They interacted with these natives, saw their amazing buildings and churches, and decided to hire them to build mosques and turbes for their own use. WIthin 100 years, virtually every Seljuk had Armenian blood. There is no other way. The tradition of taking non-Turkish brides continued among the general population and amongst the ruling elite, including the sultans. Over the course of time, many Armenians converted and blended in with their new rulers. The ones who clung to an Armenia identity after 1000 years of Turkish rule were undoubtedly a rather steadfast bunch. The people who decided to destroy them had nothing to do with Anatolia or the original Turks who arrived long ago. Their goal was theft, pure and simple – of land, of buildings and of wealth. They even sent much of it out of the country for safekeeping. So, while human beings are irreplacable, at the very least, Armenians should be returned the property and the financial assets that were stolen. If there is ever going to be a change in attitudes, this is essential and would would be a good way to start.

  18. Turkification? Sure. Same way any nation a century or more ago tried to consolidate their presence against others, and lets be honest, there were many “others”. Same way Armenians have “Armenized” what they call their ancestoral lands at some point or other, ask Azeris. Problem is someone forgot to tell them this is a new century.

    • Ask your Seljuk Turk ancestors. Where were they before they invaded in 1000 A.D. ?

      Ask Azeris ? What is an Azeri ? Turkic tibes that had invaded Caucasus from East and Central Asia were simply known as Tatars or Muslims before 1918. They came up with the ingenuous idea of stealing the name of Northern Iranian province Azarbaijan to create a fake history that they had been there all along.

      Same fake history manufacturing process of claiming Armenian churches and Khachkars were created by their imagined Christian ancestors is in full bloom today.
      Apparently they forgot that their fictitious Christian ancestors had created Nakhichevan’s Khachkars when they destroyed all 10,000 of them.

  19. Please read…Meanwhile the Turkish General Staff Archives for Military History and the Strategic Studies Center (ATASE) are still closed… & Turks claim that their archives are open.

    Army reveals documents from 1938 massacre
    ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
    The Turkish General staff has handed over some 10,650 documents to the Dersim sub-committee of Parliament, which is investigating the violent massacre against Alevi rebels in the eastern province of Tunceli (formerly known as Dersim) that occurred between 1936 and 1939 and resulted in the death of 13,800.

    The sub-commission currently possesses 20,000 documents in total, including a document which affirms that rebels succeeded in crashing one out of 15 war planes sent to the region.

    The documents also revealed that the Turkish army launched a black propaganda campaign against Seyit Rıza, the leader of the uprising and chief of a Zaza tribe in the region. Among other things, the campaign claimed that he was uncircumcised, and also tried to dissuade support from the rebel leader by convincing the public that he was originally Armenian.

    “Prisoners who were sent to western provinces will be executed and the uncircumcised boys will be given Armenian names and banished to Christian countries. Unmarried girls of Tunceli will be married to Turkish men and Turkish girls will be married to the men of Tunceli. People of Tunceli will be replaced in the following spring month. The fact that hanged Seyit Rıza was uncircumcised would look unpleasant in the eyes of the public and that has become an inspiration and propaganda material for opportunists…” read one of the documents issued on Dec. 30, 1937.

    Another document issued on Sep 11, 1937, said Rıza had surrendered with his two abettors to the military officials. The document said Rıza was exhausted the day he surrendered and demanded to testify the following day.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/army-reveals-documents-from-1938-massacre.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19115&NewsCatID=338

  20. Murat:

    The difference being that some nations, like Armenians–are largely believed to be indigenous, autochthonous to the particular habitat, while others—like Turks and TurkoAzeris, are proven aliens. If you think we’re wrong, show us any trace of Turkish presence in Asia Minor before the Battle of Manzikert of 1071 fought by the invading Seljuk nomads.

    Re: Azeris, it is ridiculous even to raise an issue of any existence of such a nation before 1918.

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