Politics 10:09 03/06/2020 Armenia

Turkey attempts to take over Armenian properties in Jerusalem

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

An article in the Jewish Press of February 13, 2020 exposed the activities of the Turkish Government to take over the Armenian and Christian Quarters of Jerusalem. The article by journalist Baruch Yedid is titled, “Turkey Working to Take Over Armenian Quarters in Jerusalem’s Old City.”

Jerusalem’s Armenian “residents have told TPS [Tazpit Press Service] about efforts of Turkish officials in recent years to persuade them to deny the Armenian holocaust perpetrated by the Turks a century ago and other actions to acquire property owned by local Christians,” according to Yedid.

A Jerusalem Armenian, whose grandfather had survived the Armenian Genocide, told TPS that 40 minutes into a meeting with a Turkish female diplomat, she tried to convince him to drop his activities for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. “I realized that she wanted to persuade me to cease my activity to preserve the Armenian massacre.” The Armenian said that he immediately showed the door to the Turkish diplomat who understood that the Armenian community will never give up on the recognition of the Genocide. “We will wait another 100 years, but we will never rescind our demand for compensation until we reach a payment agreement, like the one that Israel signed with Germany,” the Armenian said.

Other Armenian property owners in Jerusalem told TPS that Turkish government representatives recently offered them $3,000 grants for their various needs. However, Armenians rejected the Turkish bribes, calling them “silencing grants designed to ensure that the Turkish government will not be sued for the 1915-1917 massacres.” Even though the Israeli journalist Yedid uses the term ‘massacre’ in line with the Israeli Government’s denialist policy, he quickly deviates from that policy by explaining that “the Armenian extermination was a deliberate and systematic genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War against the Armenian population in its territory. Even after World War I, Turks, Kurds, and Arabs continued to massacre Armenians until 1923, and it is widely believed that about half the Armenians in Turkey, about 1.5 million people, were murdered.” Turks and Kurds did commit Genocide against Armenians, but I am not aware of any massacres of Armenians by Arabs.

Yedid continued his article by citing examples of Turkish attempts to purchase Armenian properties in Jerusalem: “Turkish pressures are also manifest in its activity to acquire Armenian assets. TPS learned that a few months ago, the residents of the Armenian Quarter were shocked to find that one of their homes was sold to a Muslim, three times its real value. An inquiry revealed that funding for the purchase of the Armenian property came from Turkey. Following the incident, some of the community leaders met to review the chain of events and took action to prevent the leakage of the community’s assets to the Turks. There is still a lingering fear among the Armenians of the Turks taking over or buying more property.”

Yedid cited another Turkish scheme to take over Christian properties in Jerusalem: “One Christian trader, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the Turks recently transferred to the Jordanian Waqf [Muslim endowment] very old ownership certificates, some crumbling, including Ottoman-era documents and property ownership documents in the Armenian and Christian Quarters. The trader, who showed TPS photos of several of the certificates, says the Turks have asked the Waqf to verify the documents which are being used to purchase the assets.” It is paradoxical that the Turkish government would not disclose from its archives the certificates of properties (deeds of trust) owned by Armenians prior to the Genocide, yet it would send copies of property certificates to a Jordanian Waqf.

Yedid also covered in his article “the growing Turkish activity in Jerusalem and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood [which] are of concern to Israel. In its recent annual intelligence assessment, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Intelligence Division has, for the first time, defined Turkey as a threat."

Yedid then described Israel’s reluctance to recognize the Armenian Genocide: “Israeli officials have often raised the possibility of recognizing the Armenian holocaust as a counter-reaction to Turkish activity against Israel, which includes the hosting of Hamas’ terrorist headquarters in Turkey. Over the years, Israel has refrained from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide, fearing that such recognition would damage diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey.” This is a nonsense argument as Israel’s relations with Turkey are already damaged and its recognition of the Armenian Genocide will not cause any further damage, just like last fall’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. House and the Senate did not negatively affect US-Turkish relations.

The Israeli journalist correctly pointed out that “Turkey monitors all publications on the Armenian genocide and considers the issue of great significance to Turkish national security, and accordingly, the Turks have not relented with their attempt to persuade the Armenians in Jerusalem to cease their commemorative endeavors.”

Yedid also reported that the Turkish government has been encouraging Turkish tourism to Jerusalem by paying the cost of travel to mosques in Jerusalem and the West Bank: “Turkish nonprofits operate in Jerusalem daily, helping mainly the Muslim Brotherhood and Jerusalem religious activities. A source in the Armenian Quarter said that Turkish tourists in the Old City have also recently been working against the Armenians, tearing up posters and publications about the Armenian genocide. Graffiti inscriptions in condemnation of the Armenians were sprayed on the Quarter’s walls.”

Furthermore, the Turkish ‘Heritage’ Society is active in Jerusalem “in the fields of education, culture, real estate and welfare, and also carries funding for the ‘convoy project’ to transport thousands of Muslim worshipers to mosques as well as funding tens of thousands of meals to break the Ramadan fast,” according to Yedid.

Similarly, TIKA, Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, funded several projects in Jerusalem. Dozens of mosques and houses have been renovated by Turkey.

It is up to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to counter the Turkish efforts by precluding local Armenians from selling their properties to Turkish buyers. The Armenian Government’s Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs should assist the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to oppose the Turkish attempts to encroach on the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem.



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Newsfeed

16:48
Armenia has new deputy minister of emergency situations
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has signed a decision to appoint Armen Pambukhchyan Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations....
16:29
More than 100 healthcare workers honored for contribution to coronavirus fight in Armenia
More than 100 healthcare workers of the Nork Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital, Surb Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center and other medical...
15:59
Rare Botticelli portrait could reach $100 million at auction
A rare Botticelli portrait could join the $100 million art club when it goes up for auction in New York, Sotheby’s said on Thursday....
15:53
‘They should not be afraid of Tsarukyan’, opposition MP says
“No problems will be resolved in the country by arresting me. They should not be afraid of Tsarukyan,” the opposition Prosperous...
15:03
Armenian school students triumph at 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics
A team of Armenian schoolchildren won a total of 4 medals at the 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). 11th-grader Emil...
14:22
Artsakh reports 10 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 404
Artsakh has reported 10 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a 24-hour period, bringing the national tally to 404 as of Friday,...
14:08
EU has a strong interest in peace and stability in the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar says
The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar starts his two-day visit to Azerbaijan. "The...
13:48
Another lawmaker from the ruling party resigns from parliament
Armenian lawmaker Gayane Abrahamyan from the ruling "My Step" fraction has resigned from parliament. As the parliament press service...
13:42
Court resumes hearing on motion to arrest PAP leader Gagik Tsarukyan
The Court of General Jurisdiction in Yerevan's central Kentron district resumed on Friday the hearing on measure of restraint for the...
13:13
Artsrun Hovhannisyan warns against activation of Azerbaijani propaganda
The Head of Military Education Department at the Defense Ministry  Artsrun Hovhannisyan has shared a the photo of a fake document...
11:48
392 new coronavirus cases reported in Armenia on September 25
Armenia has confirmed 392 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a 24-hour period, bringing the national tally to 48,643 as of 11 a.m....
11:39
Mikhail Gorbachev: Well Done, Belarusians
The first president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev supported protesting Belarusians, Charter97 reported. In an interview with the Podjem...
11:28
All Genocides could have been prevented - Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
"As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Armenia enlisted among its priorities the contribution to global efforts to prevent genocide...
10:55
Iran, Russia enjoying close coordination on regional issues: Iranian FM
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there is close coordination between Tehran and Moscow for settlement of regional issues....
10:45
The world premiere of Jivan Avetisyan’s “Gate to Heaven” to take place in Moscow
The world premiere of "Gate to Heaven" by Jivan Avetisyan will take place at the Moscow International Film Festival on October 1-8,...
20:51
A healthy sex life boosts long-term survival hopes for heart attack victims - Research
People who have had heart attacks can boost their chances of long-term survival by returning to normal levels of sexual activity, a new study...
20:42
Azerbaijani media swiftly amended own disinformation - Artsakh President's spox
Spokesperson of Artsakh Republic President Vahram Poghosyan commented on Facebook the Azerbaijani media recent disinformation and the swift...
19:45
Constitutional Court fails to elect its new President for the second day
The Constitutional Court judges failed to elect the new president for the second day in a row, one of the CC Judges Edgar Shatiryan told...
19:19
Belgium eases mask rules, cuts quarantine despite rising cases
Belgium is ending a requirement to put on masks outside and decreasing the time individuals must self-isolate, in a slight easing of coronavirus...
18:33
Open-air concert dedicated to the anniversary of Komitas Vardapet to be held in Yerevan
National Centre of Chamber Music is organizing an open-air concert on the birthday anniversary of Armenian cooper and musicologist Komitas....
17:56
The launch of the joint work of Armenian, Artsakh parliaments successfully started - Ararat Mirzoyan
The Speaker of the Armenian parliament Ararat Mirzoyan believes the launch of the joint work of the parliaments of Armenia and Artsakh has...
17:24
Report: 150 million additional children plunged into poverty due to COVID-19
The number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared to approximately 1.2 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a...
16:56
One judge self-nominated, the other nominated for the position of the President of Constitutional Court
There are two candidates for the position of the President of the Constitutional Court (CC) of Armenia, CC Judge Arevik Petrosyan told reporters...
16:00
Georgia reports record daily rise in COVID-19 cases
Georgia reported a record high of 259 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing its total to 4,399, Xinhua said, citing the National Center...
15:51
Iran’s Rouhani congratulates Pashinyan on Independence Day
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has sent a congratulatory message to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the country's Independence...
15:30
Luis Suarez breaks down in tears while leaving Barcelona training for ‘last time’
Luis Suarez broke down in tears as he left Barcelona's training ground for what was understood to be last time ahead of his switch to...
15:14
Spanish Senate ratifies Armenia-EU agreement
The Senate of Spain ratified the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on September 23, the Armenian Foreign...
14:58
Judge: Constitutional Court head’s post not appealing at all
Judge of Armenia’s Constitutional Court Arman Dilanyan will not stand as a candidate for the top court chairman, he told reported on...
14:30
Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses election
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday refused to clearly guarantee a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the upcoming US election in...
14:22
Shooting stage of Caucasus-2020 military drills kicks off in Armenia
The shooting stage of the Caucasus-2020 strategic command and staff military exercises has started in Armenia. The drills are being held at...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}