Refugee Camp in Turkey Allegedly Built on Site of Armenian Massacres

The AFAD refugee camp in southeastern Turkey


SURUC (Agos)—According to a report by Turkish news agency Firatnews, a refugee camp for Kobane residents who fled ISIS and crossed the border to Suruç in Turkey is built on Wargeha Mezin, the site where thousands of Armenians were massacred in 1895, Agos weekly reports.

Suruç residents Bozan Demir (54), Ibrahim Halil Kaya (58) of Armenian origin, and Hakki Firat (60) of Kurdish origin claim that the AFAD (Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) camp on the Urfa road is built on the site where around 20 thousand Armenians exiled from Erzurum (Karin), Erzincan (Yerznka/Acilisene), Malazgirt (Manazkert), Sivas (Sebasteia), Cizre (Gzira) and Mus (Mush) were brought to and massacred in 1895, during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Demir and Kaya, both of Armenian origin, related what they had learned from their parents, and stated that the site was known as “Wargeha Mezin,” adding that thousands of Armenians had been slaughtered there.

Ibrahim Halil Kaya, speaking of the great injustices inflicted upon Armenians during the Ottoman period, said, “According to the stories our parents passed on to us, in 1895, Armenians were banished from their homes and forced upon the path of deportation. Those who manage to survive the massacres dispersed across all corners of the world. Like the women of Kobane today, the Armenian women were left in devastation. Thousands of Armenians exiled from Cizre, Malazgirt, Muş and Sivas, were massacred between Urfa and Suruç. This route is full of their bones.”

Bozan Demir added, “In fact, ‘Wargeha Mezin’ is the first camp of the Armenians. When the Armenians were brought here, they were brought in separate convoys, from places with no water. Thousands of Armenians who were brought to the village known as Xelê osî şirîf were murdered by drowning when they rushed to drink water from a reserve kept by the villagers for cattle.”

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