Turkey has been conducting extensive activity within Jerusalem’s Old City to acquire Armenian assets and disseminate the denial of the Armenian Genocide, Israeli news agency TPS reveals.
Residents have told the outlet about efforts of Turkish officials in recent years to persuade them to deny the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire a century ago and their attempts to acquired property owned by local Christians, says The Jewish Press.
One resident said at one point a Turkish diplomat proposed to the Kahabadijan family, which owns a small museum with a rare collection of thousands of photos and documents on the Armenian Genocide to cease its activity and to avoid disseminating documentation and information.
A few months ago, the residents of the Armenian Quarter were shocked to find that one of their homes was sold to a Muslim for a price three times higher than its real value. An inquiry revealed that funding for the purchase of the Armenian property came from Turkey.
Following the incident, some of the community leaders met to review the chain of events and took action to prevent the leakage of the community’s assets to the Turks.
Turkish persuasion attempts include financial grant proposals to Armenians. Property owners in the Armenian Quarter say that Turkish government representatives have recently offered $3000 grants for various needs, but their proposals have been rejected entirely by Armenian residents, who say “these are silencing grants” designed to ensure that the Turkish government will not be sued for the 1915 – 1917 massacres.
The Genocide began when a group of Armenian intellectuals were rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government April 24, 1915. On April 24, Armenians worldwide will be commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. More than three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies the Genocide to this day.