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İstanbul municipality to turn Armenian property into a park

The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality decided on Friday to turn a 42,000-square-meter field in the district of Zeytinburnu, that was previously returned to the Armenian Hospital Foundation in Yedikule in compliance with the return of minority property law, into a park.

The area was confiscated in 2007 from the foundation. Last month, an İstanbul court canceled the confiscation and decided to return the property to the foundation. However, despite the court order, the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced on Friday that the field will be turned into a park.

Releasing a statement following the decision, the board of management of the foundation said they will bring a suit to counter the municipality’s decision. “The decision of the municipality is illegal and completely against the principles of the law.”

In 2012 the Turkish government adopted a decree to return all confiscated immovable property belonging to minority foundations in Turkey, a long-overdue step to expand the rights of minorities in the country.

This decree, which was published in the Official Gazette on Aug. 28, 2012, enables minority foundations to reclaim their confiscated properties. All real property, cemeteries and fountains will be returned to their rightful owners. Immovable property which is presently in the hands of Turkish owners will also have its value reimbursed to Armenian citizens.