Official slams court ruling over Armenian property
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Located in Eminönü district, Sansaryan Han was refashioned into the Police Headquarters in 1944 and gained notoriety as a bastion of ill-treatment by the police. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe head of Turkey’s Foundations Directorate General has sharply criticized a recent ruling by an Istanbul court to impose an interim injunction over Sansaryan Han, a historical Armenian shopping center, following an appeal by the Turkish-Armenian Patriarchate.
“To tell the truth, it seems quite significant to me that the Patriarchate has demanded for an interim injunction to be imposed over the sale of Sansaryan Han. [The Patriarchate] must be aware of the fact that we are not going to put it up for sale. I imagine [they] have engaged in a symbolic struggle, a legal battle,” Adnan Ertem, the head of the Foundations General Directorate, said Friday, adding they were going to object to the ruling next week.
Located in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, Sansaryan Han was refashioned into the Istanbul Police Headquarters in 1944 and eventually gained notoriety as a bastion of ill-treatment by the police, as many people, including a number of prominent poets and writers, had been tortured there. “The Sansaryan Mıgırdiç Ağa Foundation was established by an Armenian subject of the Ottoman [Empire]. It is a foundation that has nothing to do with [minority] community foundations. As such, it is out of question for this foundation to take advantage of laws applicable to community foundations and for Sansaryan Han to be handed over to the Armenian Patriarchate,” Ertem said.
The court ruling pertains only to the sale of the property in question and does not prevent Sansaryan Han to be put up for rent or opened to investment through the build-operate-transfer model, he said.
Ertem also said they had endeavored massively to rectify the injustices that befell upon minority community foundations after 1936, the date of an official decree that required foundations to submit a proclamation detailing their assets, which eventually led to the properties’ confiscation.
Sansaryan Han ought to be given a foundation status within the framework of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 to gain legal recognition as a minority foundation, he said.
Sansaryan Han was registered on the Foundations Directorate General in 1936, the same year when minority community foundations gained legal status, he added.
“The Patriarchate, in that case, could have appealed on that day to claim that the Sansaryan Mıgırdiç Ağa Foundation was theirs,” he said, adding that an incident that took place 74 years ago would have no legal repercussions today.