The Confiscation of Armenian Properties: A Legacy of Injustice

In 1916, amidst the turmoil of World War I, the Ottoman government orchestrated a systematic campaign to seize the assets, properties, and land of the Armenian community. This policy, euphemistically termed “Armenian Abandoned Properties,” had devastating consequences for the Armenian people and left an indelible mark on Turkey’s history.

The Origins of Confiscation

The confiscation process began during the Hamidian massacres and reached its peak during the Armenian genocide. Armenians were forcibly deported into the Syrian Desert, and their goods and assets were declared “abandoned.” Virtually all properties owned by Armenians in their ancestral homeland of Western Armenia were confiscated and redistributed among the local Muslim population.

Economic Impact

Historians argue that the mass confiscation of Armenian properties played a crucial role in shaping the economic foundation of the Turkish Republic. The appropriation led to the emergence of a new Turkish bourgeoisie and middle class. Profiteering firms sprouted across Turkey, capitalizing on the liquidation of Armenian assets. Young Turks and later Mustafa Kemal Atatürk distributed these properties to their allies, further entrenching their power.

The Ikdam Newspaper and the Economic Revolution

In a chilling endorsement of this policy, the newspaper “Ikdam” openly encouraged Turks to “get rich” through the “economic revolution” fueled by the Armenian asset grab. The article proclaimed that economic changes, rather than political shifts, would secure the nation’s future—an unsettling sentiment considering the backdrop of Armenian suffering.

The Legacy

The legacy of the Armenian Abandoned Properties remains a painful chapter in Armenian history. The confiscated properties symbolize not only economic loss but also the profound injustice inflicted upon a community. As we reflect on this dark period, we must remember the lives disrupted, the families displaced, and the graves overshadowed by greed.


  1. Confiscation of Armenian properties in Turkey – Wikipedia
  2. The Armenian Genocide and the law | openDemocracy
  3. Haytoug Preview: Confiscated Armenian Properties

Learn more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *