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Confiscation of Armenian Property and the Destruction of Armenian Historical Monuments as a Manifestation of the Genocidal Process [1]

Dickran Kouymjian

I. Introduction: The Stealing of Armenian Wealth

          A. Armenian Gold: Bank Assets

          Two years ago newspapers in Europe and America published the names of individuals who had deposited money in Swiss banks on the eve and during the Second World War. Most were Jews. Those listed had never claimed their deposits, because most were victims of the Holocaust. The banks broke 55 years of silence and the Swiss banking principle of secrecy in trying to defend themselves of charges of collaboration and acquiescence. Under pressure of public opinion, encouraged by diasporan Jewish agencies defending the rights of the survivors of the Holocaust, the story was told of how Jewish wealth sequestered by Nazi Germany made its way to Switzerland and other countries. Estimates of the value of illegally seized assets runs into hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, a group of Swiss banks has established a special fund for the victims of the Holocaust. The settlement is in the billions.

          Armenian wealth was seized in 1915 by the Young Turk government. The Ottoman Treasury received detailed inventories of sequestered property. Certificates were even issued for assets taken from Armenians killed or forcibly deported. The money, like Hitler’s Jewish gold, was moved out of Turkey and placed in Austrian and German banks. After the war, in an official memorandum presented to the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald on why aid must be given to help Armenian refugees, Sir James Baldwin, former Prime Minister, and Herbert Asquith, its authors, say in paragraph four:

"The sum of 5,000,000 Turkish gold pounds (representing about 30.000 kilograms of gold) deposited by the Turkish government at the Reichsbank in Berlin in 1916, and taken over by the Allies after the Armistice, was in large part (perhaps wholly) Armenian money.  After the forced deportation of the Armenians in 1915, their current and deposit accounts were transferred, by government order, to the State Treasury in Constantinople."[2]

          Today, this same gold would be worth about $320,000,000 plus interest! The process was as follows: First Armenian accounts and other bank assets were seized in the provinces and then transferred by government order to Constantinople.[3]

          Since official records of these accounts were kept, when will Turkish banks publish the names of those Armenians whose accounts were never claimed? When will the Turkish Government make available from its archives the ledgers listing the confiscated Armenian property? When will the Turkish government return that gold? When will the Turkish Government establish a fund for the victims of the Genocide?

          In addition to the slaughter and expulsion of more than two million souls, the Turkish government stole Armenian assets, seized Armenian property, and destroyed Armenian historical monuments. Collectively these actions represent an enormous illegal transfer of individual and community wealth from the Armenian to the Turkish and Kurdish population through a carefully planned crime.

          B. Insurance policies

          The avidity of the Young Turks was not satisfied merely with bank accounts. In 1916 Talaat Pasha, Minister of the Interior, during a conversation with Henry Morgenthau, asked the courageous ambassador of the United States if he would kindly supply him with a complete list from American insurance companies of the names of all Armenians who held life insurance policies, because, Talaat continued, they are almost all dead without leaving behind any living inheritors. Thus, the money from these policies should rightfully pass to the Ottoman government.[4] Formal notices were sent by the Turkish government to all international insurers working with Ottoman clients demanding a thorough list of all Armenians with life insurance. In this respect the insistence that major insurance companies open their archives relating to life insurance owned by Jews before and during the Holocaust should be of particular importance to those interested in the rights of the Armenian victims of genocide. In the past year, these insurance companies have been givign or agreeing to give billions of dollars to Jewish vicitims. Last year, Martin Maroutian of Pasadena, California, along with 1q2 other plaintiffs have , with the help of a major law firm, opened a three billion dollar class action suit against New York Life Insurance Company.

          C. Confiscated property (immovable wealth) and the inventories

          Beside bank deposits, stocks, bonds, and insurance policies, that is liquid assets, what property did Armenians own in Ottoman Turkey? Of course, individually their homes; yet there are no statistics on the aggregate number of Armenian families who were householders.[5] Neither are there proper estimates of how much land Armenians owned; though in the provinces it was considerable. Our knowledge is better for certain towns and villages, but a serious effort to enumerate such holdings still waits to be undertaken. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, are there approximate data of the number of factories, businesses, stores, and workshops belonging to Armenians.[6]

          On the other hand, information on community owned property is available. The Catholicosate of Cilicia maintained detailed accounts of its lands and buildings.[7] Among Armenian religious authorities, it lost the most. All of its properties, including the Catholicosate at Sis, was seized or destroyed and the Catholicos and all priest who survived were forced to resettle outside of Cilicia in Syria, and ultimately, Antelias, Lebanon. The Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople, the official head of the Armenian community who reported directly to the sultan, kept an inventory of the churches, monasteries, and schools under its jurisdiction. In 1912, the Young Turk government ordered the minority communities to prepare inventories of all their assets throughout the Empire. Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian had already provided a province by province record of Armenian churches, monasteries, schools, and population statistics as an appendix to his book l’Église arménienne, first published in French in 1910. Later, in 1913 and 1914, on the eve of the World War, the Patriarch sent a special mission to the provinces to prepare an up-to-date survey. Those records survive.

          This information served as the basis for post-genocide calculations of the destruction of Armenian property. Ormanian’s list enumerates 2039 functioning Armenian Apostolic churches in the Ottoman Empire, excluding those of Constantinople. Apparently religious edifices belonging to Armenian Catholics and Protestants were not included in this list, although the population of the two communities was. At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the heads of the Armenian delegations, Avetis Aharonian and Boghos Nubar Pasha, presented a joint report entitled "Tableau approximatif des Réparations et Indemnités pour les dommages subis par la Nation arménienne en Arménie de Turquie et dans la Republique arménienne du Caucase." It spoke of 1860 Armenian churches, 229 monasteries, 1439 schools, 29 high schools and seminaries, and 42 orphanages. Later scholars introduced variants on these numbers: Kevork Mesrob, 2000 schools; Rev. Adanalian 452 Protestant churches[8]; Haygazn Ghazarian claimed 2050 churches and 203 monasteries; Ardashes Der Khatchatourian, 2300 schools. The most authoritative figures, however, are those carefully compiled by Raymond Kévorkian in the vast 1992 publication co-authored with Paul Paboudjian, Les Arméniens dans l’Empire ottoman à la veille du Génocide. The data, largely based on the unpublished archives of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople for the years 1913-1914, list 2538 churches, 451 monasteries, and 1996 schools.[9]

          Today, outside of Istanbul, Armenians possess six churches, no monasteries, and no schools. What happened to the other 2500 and to the rest of Armenian property? What is the value of this Armenian patrimony usurped through systematic massacre and exile?

          The greatest single loss to the Armenian nation during the genocide, the lives of the victims, cannot be calculated, though, as will be seen, a price was assigned them. Monetary assets and property were carefully evaluated in the joint report presented to the Paris Peace Conference. Basing figures on 1,800,000 individuals who were either killed or forced into exile, the "Tableau approximative" sought to establish the worth of Armenian possessions left behind. The loss to rural inhabitants, considered to make up three-quarters of the total population, included: buildings (homes, stables, barns, mills); cultivated and uncultivated lands; farm equipment; personal possessions (furniture, clothes, jewelry); annual crop losses; livestock; reserves of food and feed for animals; and capital. The composite result came to 17,000 francs for each of the 270,000 Armenian families living in the country: a total of 4,600,000,000 francs. The estimated value of the damage suffered by the 90,000 Armenian families living in cities (outside of Constantinople) was 36,000 francs per family, or 3,235,000,000. Comparatively less was the proposed worth of the thousands of schools, churches, and other community buildings, 75,000,000 francs.[10] Total property and labor losses were nearly eight billion francs. To this was added the value of human life, nearly seven billion francs, including an assigned value of 5,000 francs for each Armenian killed during the massacres. The grand total of damages expressed in 1919 francs was 14.5 billion. In today’s francs it would run into the trillions of francs and at 1990 values about 100 billion dollars.[11]

          The question of reparations for losses suffered both by individuals and the Armenian nation during the genocide has been studied by several scholars. The Patriarchal statistics and the "Tableau" of the Armenian Delegations to the Peace Conference served as starting points for the examination of international law pertaining to the illegal seizure of property as a consequence of crimes against humanity. The major study on juridical questions is The Armenian Question and International Law by Shavarsh Toriguian of 1973,[12] while that dealing with the seizure and destruction of property is Kévork Baghdjian’s 1987 work, La confiscation, par le gouvernement turc, des biens arméniens...dits "abandonnés".[13] which incorporates earlier studies already mentioned as well as those on the so-called “abandoned” property of the Armenians by Lut‘fik Kouyoumdjian,[14] Fr. nazean,[15] Lewon Vardan,[16] and Puzant Eghiayean.[17]

II. The Seizure of Armenian Property

          In May 1915 the Ottoman government through the Minister of the Interior issued an elaborate decree against its own Armenian citizens entitled "Administrative instructions regarding movable and immovable property abandoned by Armenians deported as a result of the war and the unusual political circumstances."[18]

          The law called for the formation of special committees which would prepare lists and reports of all property "abandoned." This property was to be placed in safe custody in the names of the deportees. Such list-receipts were in fact prepared and given to Armenians.[19] Copies were kept by the local committees and other copies forwarded to the Ottoman Treasury. Perishable goods and animals were to be sold and the money deposited in the names of the Armenian owners. The law stipulated that Turkish refugees from the Balkan War were to be settled in Armenian homes and on Armenian lands, however, with proper documentation and officially registered. Land and property not wanted by Turkish refugees were to be sold at public auction and the sums deposited in the name of the Armenian owners.[20]

          In reality, most of the movable property was looted by mobs, and the houses, farms, lands, and shops were sold at a fraction of their value by members of the special committees to friends, and the money was either kept by the committee members or sent to the Central Treasury. Four months later, a second decree of 26 September 1915 explained in detail how claims could be registered and executed against "abandoned" Armenian property.[21]

          The question of "abandoned property" later came up in the first treaty between the new Republic of Armenia and Turkey, the Treaty of Batum of June 1918, in which property rights were guaranteed and in case of government seizure, appropriate compensation was to be given to the owners.[22] Armenian rights to reclaim officially inventoried properties was again underlined in article 144 of the Treaty of Sèvres of August 1920. Provision was made for: 1) the cancellation of the law of 1915 relating to "Abandoned Property"; 2) the return of Armenians to their homes; and 3) the restoration of businesses and all movable and immovable property. Commissions of arbitration were to be appointed by the Council of the League of Nations to consider Armenian claims. Even if former Ottoman subjects (i.e. the Armenians) had acquired citizenship in new countries, their property and interests in Turkey were to be restored in their original condition. Turkey was a signatory of the Treaty of Sèvres as was the Armenian Republic, and even though the treaty was never ratify by the signatory governments, legal experts maintain that obligations under it must be respected. The subsequent treaties and agreements of Alexandrapol (December 1920), Moscow (March 1921), Kars (October 1921), and Ankara (April 1922), all signed by Turkey, contained specific provisions on minority properties.

          Of course these were never implemented; worse, the Turkish government began issuing new laws of confiscation. The 1922 Ankara Agreement with France, protecting Armenian property in Cilicia after French withdrawal, was made a mockery by a new Turkish law confiscating all "abandoned" property in areas "liberated" from the enemy. A year later, on 15 April 1923, just before the signing of the revised Peace Treaty of Lausanne, a new regulation, the "Law of Abandoned Properties," called for the seizure of all possessions of Armenians no longer living in Turkey whatever the reason or the circumstances of their departure. The Treaty of Lausanne signed in July 1923, nevertheless, provided, and still provides, protection to minorities, on condition they are citizens of Turkey. As will be seen, nothing prevented Turkey from depriving certain minority groups of their citizenship. The Turkish government, in the wake of its success at Lausanne and the virtual burying of the Armenian question, promulgated still another law in September of the same year which forbade Armenians from Cilicia and the Eastern provinces who had "emigrated" from returning to Turkey. In August 1926 the Turkish Government publicly declared it would keep all property confiscated before the entry in force of the Treaty of Lausanne, that is 6 August 1924. In May 1927 a governmental law authorized the exclusion of Turkish nationality to anyone who had not taken part in the War of Independence and had remained abroad between 24 July 1923 and 27 May 1927. This essentially sealed the fate of Armenian claims for confiscated property. Protests to the League of Nations by the Central Committee for Armenian Refugees from 1925 to 1928 were never acted on and rejected by Turkey. The interests of the Allied Powers were no longer with Armenia, already sovietized. Diasporan Armenians and their friends represented little more than a moral force easily ignored. Armenian property claims were forgot along with the Armenians.

          Thus, the Turkish Republic finished the work started by the Ottoman government adding to the horror of the first genocide of the century, the final touches to one of the greatest thefts of wealth and land in our time.

III. The Destruction of Armenian Historical Monuments

          Once the decision was carried out to rid the Armenian homeland of its Armenian population, the logical consequence was to complete the Genocide by removing forever any association of the Armenian people with the newly sequestered lands. Thus, the name Armenia was completely dropped from all Turkish maps and documents; when it inadvertently surfaced, in textbooks or popular literature, the edition was confiscated and destroyed.

          The Turkish government has gone to great lengths to efface all traces of Armenian civilization on the historical lands. In the late 1950s, it systematically changed the names of towns, villages, and hamlets in the eastern provinces. As Turkish historians continue to revise the past, newer generations of Armenians will be hard pressed to find the localities inhabited by their ancestors.

          In all parts of the former Ottoman Empire under Turkish control, except Istanbul, which has a high tourist profile and an important Armenian community, the Genocide has been persistently pursued by eliminating all Armenian cultural remains or depriving them of their distinguishing national content.

          Armenian churches as witnesses to national life, represented intolerable embodiments of the historic Armenian presence. Religious monuments of the victims are a great embarrassment to the perpetrators of genocide; the greater their number the more difficult is the campaign of disinformation. For this reason all Armenian monuments were and are threatened. Because I testified in detail on this subject before the Permanent People's Tribunal of April 1984,[23] showing visual proof of the destruction of a large number of monuments, in this article I will only summarize some of the ways Armenian churches suffered, and still suffer, ruin or neutralization.

          1. Willful destruction by fire or explosives of churches, civil buildings, and homes during the period of the massacres. Nearly every Armenian region was affected. During the years 1915-23, some 1,000 Armenian churches and monasteries were leveled to the ground while nearly 700 other religious structures were half-destroyed.[24]

          2. Subsequent, but conscious, destruction of individual monuments by explosives or artillery.

          3. Destruction by willful neglect and the encouragement of trespassing by peasants. It is well known that the finely cut stones used on the facades of Armenian churches make perfect prefabricated building material.

          4. Conversion of Armenian churches into mosques, museums, prisons, sporting centers, granaries, stables, and farms.

          5. Destruction by failure to provide minimal maintenance. All remaining Armenian churches in Turkey are endangered by this neglect.

          6. Demolition for the construction of roads, bridges, or other public works.

          7. Neutralizing of a monument’s Armenian identity by effacing its Armenian inscriptions.

          8. The intentional reattribution of buildings, especially of monuments of touristic importance, to Turkish, usually medieval Seljuk, architecture. The most notorious examples are the tenth century churches of Aght’amar and Kars, which ironically were built before the Seljuk Turks entered history.

          Turkey continues its genocidal policy by allowing this destruction while carrying on the pretense of being a model member of the international community through its subscription to various international treaties on the protection of minority rights and monuments. A partial list of such agreements signed by the Turkish government includes:

          A. Articles 38 to 44 of the 1923 revised peace Treaty of Lausanne deal especially with the guarantee and protection of minority rights. Yet Turkey has consistently violated its provisions as foreign observers have regularly reported. In Istanbul until just this year, repairs on existing Armenian structures required government permission, which was not always granted. Rebuilding and expansion is little tolerated, and church and community property is often sequestered by invoking the right of eminent domain. Recently the threat of taxation of minority churches and charitable institutions has been invoked. With such an attitude in Istanbul, the very visible and touristic former capital, is it not naive to expect that monuments in the relatively deserted interior are cared for?

          B. Turkey subscribed and approved the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations Charter recognizing, among other points, minority cultural rights.

          C. In 1965, Turkey signed the 1954 Treaty of the Hague on the Preservation of Cultural Monuments during the time of War.[25]

          D. On 7 January 1969 Turkey signed the International Treaty for the Preservation of Cultural Monuments, which includes clear provisions for the care and preservation of minority cultural monuments.[26]

          Many have suggested that UNESCO, with a vast section devoted exclusively to the preservation of historical monuments, play an active role in the safeguarding of at least those edifices of recognized importance to the general history of art. But UNESCO cannot engage in conservation unless the government ruling the area in which the monument stands invites it to intervene. Furthermore, many experts have cautioned about the possible adverse effect of UNESCO’s overt concern with Armenian monuments. The Minority Rights Report  of 1976, no. 32 on Armenia while detailing Turkish violations of international convenants on minorities concludes:

We would like to see the Armenian monuments in eastern Turkey better cared for, although we would warn any Western government (or UNESCO) from pressing the Turks on this matter, a course of action which would only hasten the destruction of the monuments that remain.[27]

          Turkey's current vicious policy against its large Kurdish population simply underlines its historical attitude toward minorities and its arrogant disregard of international conventions. Today, Turkey still holds the lands and property illegally seized in 1915 and after, contrary to international laws and the conventions of which it is a signatory.

          Churches that have withstood sixteenth centuries of earthquakes and erosion will have disappeared within a couple of generations in this the great century of restoration and preservation. There is little hope that the destruction and vandalism will stop, despite the courageous efforts of scholars from many countries to survey, photograph, and publish these monuments, unless and until Western governments publicly acknowledge the genocide and collectively persuade the Turkish state to do the same. So far entreaties and even threats on the part of the European Parliament and the European Community have had no effect. Turkey's current vicious policy against its large Kurdish population simply underlines its historic attitude toward minorities and its arrogant disregard of international conventions.

IV. What Can Be Done Now?

          In many respects circumstances have radically changed since 1984, the time of the Permanent People’s Tribunal. On legal issues affecting the genocide and the question of reparations, the position of diaspora organizations then was to convince sympathetic countries to take up the Armenian case. With the adoption of the Genocide Convention by the United Nations in 1948 and the resolution on the non-prescriptability for legal action on the part of the victims of genocide adopted in 1968, a clear procedure was established for prosecuting crimes against humanity. Theoretically, cases could be brought before the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. The problem was and is that such questions have to be sponsored by governments, because the United Nations and the World Court were designed to serve a club of internationally recognized states. Thus, appeals by Armenians were directed toward to countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, and Argentine which might support Armenian claims against the Turkish government.

          With the establishment of the third Republic of Armenia in 1991 and its acceptance into United Nations a new factor has been added to demands for the recognition of both the moral and physical prejudice suffered by Armenian victims and the restitution of property. Clearly, under international law, the Republic of Armenia is invested with enormous legal power even though to this day it has rarely chosen to exercise it. When and if the Armenian government decides to use this power remains essentially a political question. Furthermore, with Armenian independence a new avenue of dialogue with Turkey is open, one between states, but to the best of my knowledge no serious discussion on the question of Armenian monuments or other property has yet taken place. Armenia, as a member of the United Nations and other international bodies, may be able to put direct pressure on Turkey through official channels. Certainly Armenia’s authority to represent the rights of all victims of the genocide will be greatly strengthened if Armenian citizenship is extended to Armenians living in the Diaspora.

          In this respect two additional courses of action may become available. With the unification of Europe and its own institutions of justice a new vehicle of international law has been introduced, namely the ability of individuals to make claims against governments when previously only states were allowed to. As Turkey, with the active sponsorship of countries like France, moves closer to joining the European Community, it risks becoming involved in litigation by Armenian victims or their descendants, especially those residing in member states which have recognized the genocide. In the future Turkey may have to contend with a legal system that it will not be able to manipulate.[28] Furthermore, the establishment this year of an International Genocide Tribunal strengthens due process as applied to the crimes against humanity.

          Another window of opportunity only now being explored is the position of the Armenian Church toward its own confiscated property. Ownership of religious buildings has always been a much less controversial question than the property of individuals or secular institutions. We have recently witnessed the remarkable restitution of church buildings to the religious authorities by Armenia, Russia, and other former soviet states. If the wrongs of seventy years of atheistic Communism were corrected by a quick return of church properties seized in the 1920s, why cannot those despoiled by the Turkish government only five years earlier in 1915 be returned now on the eve of the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of Armenian Christianity?

          With strengthened Catholicosates in both Etchmiadzin and Antelias, led by men of action and conviction, with machinery in place to receive such property, the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Catholicos of Cilicia, there is nothing unreasonable about initiating a legal procedure before international instances and the Turkish government for quick restitution of churches. Why shouldn’t Aght’amar and the Cathedral of Ani be administered by the Armenian Church?

          In this connection a final reflection: Though it may be difficult to establish the names of more than a million Armenian victims and locate their descendants, in order to claim reparations, there would be no problem identifying Armenian churches, monasteries, and schools seized during and after the deportations and massacres. Those churches have names and they or their ruins are still exactly where they were in 1915. Their legal owner is the Armenian Church, and its officially recognized representative, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Catholicos of Cilicia. The Patriarch never left Turkey and is still there ready and waiting to accept the return of those confiscated properties. Perhaps such a restoration of church property will be a first step toward compensating Armenians for the prejudice they suffered as victims of genocide.

[1] Research for this paper was supported in part by a grant from the Bertha and John Garabedian Foundation of Fresno, California. An earlier version was presented at an international conference entitled "L'Actualité du Génocide des Arméniens," held at the Sorbonne in Paris, 16-18 April 1988.

[2] Shavarsh Toriguian, The Armenian Question and International Law, Beirut: Hamaskaïne, 1973, pp. 107-8, quoting André Mandelstam, La Société des Nations et les Puissances devant le problème arménien, reprint, Beirut, 1970, pp. 489-493.

[3] Mandelstam, La Société, p. 492 of the reprint adds this detail.

[4] Henry Morgenthau, Memoires, Paris, 1919, p. 292, Baghdjian, Confiscation, p. 70.

[5] Official Ottoman tax and land registers usually indicated whether the individual paying taxes is a home owner. This was a practice that went back to the seventeenth century and certainly earlier.

[6] Krikor Zohrab using information supplied to him published a small volume in Paris under the pseudonym Marcel Léart in which a partial list of such ownership is given for the regions of Sivas, Tokat, Amassia, and Shabin Karahisar: La Question arméniennes à la lumière des documents, Paris, 1913, pp. 65-67, cf. Baghdjian, La confiscation, 206-207.

[7] Reproduced in Kévork Baghdjian, La confiscation, par le gouvernement turc, des biens arméniens...dits "abandonnés", Montreal, 1987, pp. 270-283

[8] Rev. K. P. Atanalean, Yu arjan Hay ‘ ew Awetaranakan eke ec‘woy [Memorial of Armenian Evangelicals and Armenian Evangelical Churches], Fresno, 1952.

[9] Raymond H. Kévorkian and Paul B Paboudjian, Les Arméniens dans l’Empire ottoman à la veille du Génocide, Paris: Arhis, 1992, pp. 57-60, synoptic table for all 17 Ottoman provinces with populations statistics

[10] Haygazen Ghazarian estimated their value at one billion dollars.

[11] For instance the value of a whole sheep was 20 francs in 1919, today one would cost 20 or 30 times as much. Kévork Baghdjian, La confiscation, pp. 204-205, converts this figures into 1987 francs (at the ratio of 33.5 modern francs for one old 1919 franc) for a total of 489,050,000,000 franc.

[12] See note 1 above.

[13] See note 5 above.

[14] Lut‘fik Guyum ean (Kouyoumdjian), Lk’eal goyk‘eru harc’er [The Question of Abandoned Property], General Year Book of the National Hospital, Istanbul, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1939.

[15] E. G. vardapet nazean "Hayoc‘ lk‘eal goyker [The Abandoned Property of the Armenians]," Janaser (Beirut)1-15 June 1968

[16] Lewon Vardan, Haykakan tasn hign ew Hayeru lk‘eal goyker [Armenian ‘15 and the Abondoned Property of the Armenians], Beirut, 1970

[17] Biwzand E iayean [Puzant Yeghiayan], "Hayoc‘ "lk‘eal goyk" T’urk‘ioy m [Armenian "Abandoned Property" in Turkey," in Contemporary History of the Armenian Catholicossate of Cilicia 1914-1972 [in Arm.], Antelias, 1975.

[18] Toriguian, The Armenian Question and International Law, p. 118 ff.

[19] Baghdjian, La confiscation, pp. 287-288, has reproduced two of them from Adana, many others have survived. Peter Balakian reproduces one in his Black Dog of Fate, New York, 1997, . He in fact describes how his mother filed suit in an American court to regain her property, a precedent that needs more publicity and a collective follow up effort.

[20] Haygazn Ghazarian, Tseghasban Turke [The Genocidal Turk], Beirut, 1968, pp. 227-235, cf. Toriguian, The Armenian Question and International Law , p. 118.

[21] Toriguian, The Armenian Question and International Law , p. 119.

[22] Article 10 as quoted by Toriguian, p. 119, quoting the periodical Orient of 13 October 1915, p. 1.

[23] Dickran Kouymjian, "Destruction des monuments historiques arméniens, poursuite de la politique de génocide," Le Crime de Silence, Flammarion, Paris, 1984, pp. 295-310; English trans. "The Destruction of Armenian Historical Monuments as a Continuation of the Turkish Policy of Genocide," The Crime of Silence, Permanent Peoples' Tribunal Zed, London, 1985, pp. 173-185; German trans. "Die Zerstörung armenischer Kulturdenkmäler - eine Forsetzung der türkischen Völkermord-Politik," Das Verbrechen des Schweigens, Die Verhandlung des türkischen Völkermords an den Armeniern vor dem Ständigen Tribunal der Völker, Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, Göttingen, n.d. [1985], pp. 155-162; reprinted Eng., The Zoryan Bulletin, vol. II, no.2 (summer, 19840, pp.4-5,8; reprint French, Abaka, 11 Nov. 1985, p.7; extracts translated into Armenian, Hayrenik'i jayn, no.30, 1990, pp.2,3,7..

[24] Kevork Mesrob, Hayastani Gotchnag (in Armenian), 1931, p. 810, the exact figures were 1,036 churches destroyed, 691 half-destroyed.

[25] Unesco Chronicle (1965).

[26] Unesco Chronicle (1969), p. 235.

[27] Armenia, Minority Rights Report, no. 32, London, 1976.

[28] A further avenue of redress may be offered by the International Criminal Court currently being discussed by the United Nations. Its supports want to establish a permanent tirbunal deal with genocide and crimes against humanity. As of this writing, April 1998, there is strong resistence from the Pentagon, but both President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have endorsed the idea. Though its major focus for the moment is the prosecution of living perpetrators of recent genocides, eventually it may feel competent to examine earlier instances by victims who calim justice.


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