Embattled Residents in Yerevan Demand Fair Compensation for their Homes

YEREVAN (Hetq)–Scores of residents from the Kozern neighborhood of Yerevan gathered outside the Government Building earlier Thursday to protest plans  to acquire and demolish sections of the district for redevelopment.

Some 194 households in the neighborhood are threatened demolition. The residents have said they will not be removed from their homes and have refused offers to purchase their properties at $300 per square meter.They argue that compensation rates proposed by the government are laughable for the prime real-estate.

“We want apartments in return. I have been living in the neighborhood for 70 years. The government better not try any funny stuff to trick us,” said Matsak Hovhannisyan. “Long-time residents will never leave so that these developers can move in and do what they like.”

Local residents said they are not opposed to developing the area but want adequate compensation, preferably comparable sized apartments in any new buildings.

Resident Samvel Mkrtchyan said that it wasn’t a question of money but one of trust. “Let’s get the new apartments first and then we’ll leave our homes.”

The protesters say they want to sit down and negotiate with Samvel Mayrapetyan, the chief developer involved in Kozern. Mkrtchyan, who was allowed to enter the government building, told the protesting residents that he had secured a meeting with Mayrapetyan to be scheduled in the next two days.

During the demonstration, Yerevan’s newly elected mayor, Karen Karapetyan, was seen trying to avoid the crowd while exiting the building. The protesters surrounded Karapetyan, peppering him with questions and demands.

“Why don’t you appoint a committee and visit the neighborhood yourself to find out what’s happening?” asked one of the protesters.

“OK, fine,” answered the mayor and left the scene.

Speaking to the demonstrators, Mkrtchyan summed up the sentiments of the crowd, saying no one could force the residents to leave their homes. “Kozern isn’t Northern Avenue. We will not allow what happened elsewhere in Yerevan to happen to us,” he declared.

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4 Comments

  1. eddy said:

    Most people are refuges from Baku or other tows- .. Criminals are forcing people out of country. If one looks to the map of Yerevan, one would realize a lot of empty plot of lands for new constructions in Yerevan…but irresponsible officials and criminals around them are acting in a way as if they were being paid by Baku or Ankara…! Armenian officials and ruling elite/oligarchy is continuing the “White genocide”

    President is “firing” X official for wrongdoings and so on, the same official is being appointed to another post!

  2. Avetis said:

    Eddy, can you please tell us which fired “X official” has been given another post? $300 a square meter is a fair price for the rat infested slums that are to be demolished. For the money they are receiving they can easily find themselves a decent apartment in any one of Yerevan’s suburbs. Yerevan has to develop. As far as I know, there are no slums in downtown Manhattan, downtown Washington, downtown Paris, downtown London, downtown Stockholm, downtown Vienna, downtown Berlin…

    • sako said:

      come on bro why are you picking on eddie.. he was just talking out of his a….

  3. eddy said:

    Yes,
    most of people in Sarkisians administration were engaged in mismanagement during Kocharian´s administration including policy officers!
    What is doing the former Minster of justice, who was fired three weeks ago?

    The former mayor of Yerevan – known for his mismanagement during Kocharian administration- was replaced by Beglaryan (“elected”) and got a new job in president administration… and Beglaryan waa asked to not show himself a couple month in the public..

    there is simply a job rotation within certain families!

    Yes, a group of well organized so called “businessman” are forcing people out of there villages! A part of these Armenians being forced to migrate later to Russia and remaining parts move to Yerevan and becoming poor , who later seeking refuges else were.

    Nobody is asking why are people forced in Yerevan to sell there properties for nothing , while there are a lot of empty lots/ land around and within Yerevan for new constructions? Not speaking of new build apartments in Northen Ave. which remain empty!

    Unfortunately, , Sarkisian administration has a find a new way to cheat and fool the people and nation- This is making “patriotic” speeches and some cosmetic changes !

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