Turkey’s concerns not vain: Armenians could start the process of property return ahead of 2015

Armine Gevorgyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Head of the “Modus Vivendi” Center Ara Papyan considers that Turkish analysts’ concerns that the process of returning the Armenian property of Turkey could start ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide are not vain. He even mentions the ways the process could be started.

“This can be done in two levels – individual (when the heirs of the Armenian Genocide victims have certificates from their forefathers) and community (when the Armenian churches and other national institutions have certificates of ownership),” he said.

According to Papyn, when speaking about the relations with Turkey, we must first of all bring forth the issue of restoring the territorial integrity, as the rights of Armenians are incorporated in Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award.

Turkish Armenian freedom fighter Sargis Hatspanyan reminded that back in 2005 the Turkish real estate cadastre made the decision to translate the property documents from Ottoman to modern Turkish. However, the intention was never called to life. According to Hatspanyan, the veto on the documents has not been lifted up until today, which complicates the sale of property even for Turks.

Ara Papyan welcomes the joint statement of the two Armenian Patriarchs, calling on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and return the confiscated Armenian Churches and Church Estates, but notes that no consistent work has been done in that direction. Before taking practical steps, it’s necessary to open an office and make the list of individual plaintiffs.

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