Restoration of Historical Memory and Dignity for Victims of the Armenian Genocide: A Human Rights Law Approach to Effective Reparations

reparationshrl-1

Richard J. Wilson
American University – Washington College of Law

2014

14 International Criminal Law Review 332, (2014)

Abstract:
This article argues that United Nations human rights principles and new developments in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights suggest a route to provide effective reparations through the restoration of historical memory and dignity for victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Continue reading →

Confiscated Armenian Properties

pillageofthecenturyBY UMIT KURT
Haytoug Summer 2016 Issue

On 27 May 1915 the Ottoman government, using the ongoing world war as a pretext, made the decision to deport its Armenian citizens to the regions of Syria and Iraq, which at that time were Ottoman provinces. However, the true aim was not to change the locations of the Armenians, but to annihilate them. This deportation and destruction also gives rise to an important question: What was going to happen to the properties the Armenians left behind? How would they be administered?

A series of laws and decrees, known as the “Abandoned Properties Laws” were issued in the Ottoman and Turkish Republican periods concerning the administration of the belongings left behind by the Ottoman Armenians who were deported in 1915. The best-known regulation on the topic is the comprehensive Council of Ministers Decree, dated May 30, 1915. The Directorate of Tribal and Immigrant Settlement of the Interior Ministry (İskan-ı Aşâir ve Muhacirin Müdiriyeti) sent it the following day to relevant provinces organized in 15 articles. It provided the basic principles in accordance with which all deportations and resettlements would be conducted, and began with listing the reasons for the Armenian deportations. The most important provision concerning Armenian properties was the principle that their equivalent value was going to be provided to the deportees.
Continue reading →

New Web Site Assesses Armenian Genocide Losses

Yerevan – Armenian Genocide Losses 1915, armeniangenocidelosses.am, is a new web site created by an independent research group in Armenia, including Tom Samuelian, David Davidian, Hovhannes Asryan, Tigran Sahakyan and others too numerous to name here. “The goal is to provide a framework for informed discussion on the extent of the harm resulting from this genocide.”

Reversible and Irreversible Harm-large

It presents a formula based on international norms and precedents, which call for reversible harm to be reversed and irreversible harm to be compensated. Reversible harm includes land, property and rights that can be restored. Irreversible harm includes lost lives, destroyed property, and other intangible harm caused and benefit gained by delay and denial of the Armenian Genocide. The total harm caused and benefit gained from the Armenian Genocide is estimated to be in excess of $3 trillion.
Continue reading →

The Confiscation of Armenian Properties: An Interview with Ümit Kurt

By Varak Ketsemanian
The Armenian Weekly

The following interview with Ümit Kurt tackles how the physical annihilation of the Armenians paralleled the confiscation and appropriation of their properties in 1915. By citing the various laws and decrees that orchestrated the confiscation process, Kurt places our understanding of the genocide within a legal context.

Continue reading →

Confiscation and Colonization: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property

By Ugur Ungor
The Armenian Weekly
April 2011 Magazine

“Leave all your belongings—your furniture, your beddings, your artifacts. Close your shops and businesses with everything inside. Your doors will be sealed with special stamps. On your return, you will get everything you left behind. Do not sell property or any expensive item. Buyers and sellers alike will be liable for legal action. Put your money in a bank in the name of a relative who is out of the country. Make a list of everything you own, including livestock, and give it to the specified official so that all your things can be returned to you later. You have ten days to comply with this ultimatum.”[1]

—Government promulgation hanged in public places in Kayseri,
June 15, 1915.

Continue reading →