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Turkish Man Returns Property of 1915 Assyrian Genocide Victims

By Dikran Ego, Seyfo Center
01/09/08 Turkey (Assyrian International News Agency) – Inheritance from a Turkish father was shown to be taken from an Assyrian who was killed during the genocide in 1915. Berzan Boti is now apologizing for what his forefathers did and is returning the house and other properties to its rightful owners.

At the end of 2008 a ninety year old taboo about the genocide was broken. Approximately 200 intellectual Turks started an appeal, apologizing to the Armenians for what happened in 1915 (AINA 12-12-2008). The genocide (called Seyfo in Assyrian) was called “the huge disaster” in the appeal.

Berzan Boti has bequeathed all properties to the Seyfo Center, a genocide studies institute based in Sweden. The properties were owned by Assyrians before the Seyfo genocide in 1915.

A year ago, Berzan Boti contacted the Seyfo Center. In the letter he apologized for what had happened in 1915 and expressed his willingness to return the properties:

“When I found out that the properties that I and my brothers inherited from our father wasn’t our own, but properties taken from the murdered Assyrians in 1915 I felt an indescribable feeling of guilt and shame. I’ve been thinking long and hard before I have come to this decision. I tried to put myself in their position. I have personally apologized to every Assyrian and Armenian I’ve meet. But this does not get rid of the crime our ancestors committed. Even if I am personally not responsible for what happened in 1915, I felt as I had to do more than just to apologize. Finally, I came to the decision to give back all properties that I inherited from my forefathers to Seyfo Center, who struggles for a confession of the Seyfo genocide in 1915”.

Berzan Boti has now signed a document saying that Sabri Atman, founder of Seyfo Center, is responsible for the properties. Atman received the letter and says that Boti’s action is honorable.

“This is the beginning; I hope that other people that got properties during the Seyfo genocide caused will take their responsibility as Berzan Boti did,” says Sabri Atman.

The transfer of property to Seyfo Center will take place during a press conference in Sweden in the spring.