Armenian Foundation’s Thank You to President Erdogan -by Markar Esayan
As you know, AKP has been relentlessly pursuing reforms despite all the obstacles in front of them.
Every one of these reforms were ones that we thought were impossible to implement in the 1990s. I don’t expect the current generation to fully understand it, but it is our duty to remind people of our history and map out the development during this period.
We were recipients of a few good news recently. The land originally owned by the Ortakoy Surp Tarkmancats Church Foundation was returned to them. Similarly, expropriation payments were made to Uskudar’s Armenian High School Foundation. Another piece of real estate in the middle of the lawsuit known as “Fenerbahce Case” was reinstated for the ownership of the foundation.
In May of this year, about 50 items of real estate comprised of monasteries, graveyards and churches in and around Mardin and Midyat were returned to Assyrian foundations. Assyrians opened their first high school since the foundation of the Republic in Yesilkoy during this government’s reign. They stand firmly with their citizens. There are interruptions and delays in the process, or course, but they are all being dealt with in due time. There are no mistaking the government’s good intentions on this subject.
If you remember, the issue with Tuzla Armenian Orphanage (where Hrant and Rakel Dink had attended) not being considered as part of the reforms done in the Law of Foundations, was later taken care of by this government. The property was returned to the foundation in 2015 with the help of the President, the Prime Minister, Istanbul Municipality, Tuzla Municipality and my own humble contributions. When I handed the title over to the Foundation we weren’t celebrating the possession itself. We were happy about our state embracing all of its citizens regardless of their race or identity. This was a new experience for us.
The Foundation of Surp Hac Tıbrevank High School took ads in our newspapers thanking President Erdogan. The reinstatement of their properties should not be considered as a hand out. But we owe it to this government to thank them, particularly after seeing others, even CHP’s Kilicdaroglu taking the case to the Constitutional Court.
Charles Aznavour who recently passed was a man of peace and a friend of Turks. He was regularly attacked for his stance. We will be on the side of peace and honesty regardless of who is in charge.
I, too want to thank President Erdogan and others who have helped these developments come to life.