ISTANBUL—Nor Zartonk, an Armenian political movement based in Istanbul, has issued a statement regarding last Thursday’s attack on two of its members at Camp Armen.
According to reports, two Nor Zartonk members were beaten by unidentified assailants on the group’s 100th day of occupation of the camp site, prompting Turkish-Armenian parliamentarian Selina Dogan to demand the camp’s return to the Armenian community.
The statement released by Nor Zartonk on Friday, August 14, reads as follows:
To the public and the press,
The Camp Armen Resistance, that is on its 101st day today, had started when the demolition team was stopped from destroying Hrant’s legacy, Camp Armen, our Atlantis, which the authorities forcefully seized from us, which bears the handprints of Armenian orphans on each and every [one of its] wall. For over 100 days, we [have been] fighting for the restitution of Camp Armen to the Armenian people, making an effort to keep Camp Armen alive, and despite the warmongering that is being spread all over the county, we are building a new life here founded on peace.
This new life and struggle is exactly what disturbs the contemporary equivalent of the mindset which illegally seized Camp Armen from the Armenian people in the past.
The efforts to dissolve the Camp Armen Resistance that showed itself in guises of harassment and provocation in the past 100 days, unfortunately took a turn towards physical violence last night.
With the news of young peoples’ deaths arriving from all over the country, we were embarrassed even to mention the name Camp Armen, but even in that situation they were busy making plans to attack us, and they did.
On the 100th day of the resistance, around 23:30, a group of 8 people armed with clubs had attacked 4 of our friends in the Camp area. Two of our friends had been battered, and one of them was seriously injured and taken to the Tuzla State Hospital. This incident had been officially recorded by a medical report and a police report about the assault, and was immediately shared with the public. The public support we received in the following hours in response to our call for solidarity, first and foremost from Tuzla residents, and in total from all over İstanbul, shows how sensitive and mindful our people [are] towards this incident.
The purpose of the attack on our resistance is obvious. Once more our Camp Armen, in which we are building the new life that the peoples of Turkey are dreaming of, is subject to attempts of confiscation that are becoming much more blood thirsty. The provokers of this attack, which are the advocates of the current power structure, revealed themselves by claiming on social media that the attack and the news regarding it were fake and [that] we were attempting to provoke unrest. Our response to all the attacks, and all the hate surrounding us is simply and solely peace!
While we were continuing to resist for 100 days, we relied only on the support and solidarity of the peoples of Turkey, and thus remained strong. We are calling upon all the peoples of Turkey, starting with the Armenian people, to lend a hand to our resistance, to fight fascism together, and to help strengthen our hope to create a better world for the future. Our resistance will last in full determination until Camp Armen is restituted to the Armenian people.
NOR ZARTONK / ՆՈՐ ԶԱՐԹՕՆՔ