Camp Armen served for years as an Armenian orphanage and children’s camp in Istanbul. The site was one of the only spaces where Armenians could keep their culture alive. Journalist Hrant Dink was among the children who attended Camp Armen. Now, companies with title to the land are trying to demolish the site.
A popular resistance has been holding an occupation on the site for 108 days. On the 100th day of the Camp Armen resistance, racists assaulted the camp. Kurdish LGBTI activist Siyabend Kurdi said the resistance remains strong in spite of attacks.
“This resistance is a space where the Armenian people and other peoples othered by the capitalist system come together in solidarity,” said Siyabend. “This is a place for all others. LGBTI people are here and are constantly resisting.”
Siyabend said hate attacks by the state are escalating in Turkey. Recently, Turkish police stripped and photographed the naked dead body of Kurdish woman guerrilla Kevser Eltürk (Ekin Wan). At the same time, transphobic and homophobic attacks have escalated, Siyabend said.
“As a Kurd and a gay person, as the other’s other, I am under attack. That’s why I’m resisting,” said Siyabend. The Camp Armen resistance will continue, he said, through the solidarity between othered peoples.