"Love, teh profound mystery of Creation, lies at the source of the universal principles of natural law. Every human being is bestowed with human dignity. And this human dignity means that every human being, needs and is entitled to as a human right, to live in a state governed by justice. The Organization of the State should afford the individual the right to assembly in order to actualize his or her human rights at more advanced levels; and the right to established legal personalities such as associations or foundations; and the only grounds for any restriction over these rights and freedoms can be the principle of 'not harming others'."
Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Hatemi, from the foreword
The 1936 Declaration was used as a cover-up for the persecution of minority foundations by the Republic of Turkey. The 1913 and 1936 declarations, prepared by all minority foundations upon the request of the state, are officially treated as 'declarations of properties'; whereas teh 2012 Declaration -the most comprehensive balance sheet produced so far of the loss sufferred by Armenian foundations in Istanbul, in a chain of injustice that has continued for almost a century- is a 'declaration of unlawful seizures'.
The story told in this book is not the story of structures made of stone or concrete, but the story of human beings. The problem is not about 'properties', but an issue of the sustainability of cultural existence. We know that, as long as it fails to face up to the mindset that alienates the ancient peoples of this country and refuses to see them as equal citizens, Turkey's efforts towards democratization will fall short. With the hope and wish that this work will contribute to transformation.