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Turkish Gravediggers Rummaging for Genocide Era Armenian Treasures

BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

Haber Turk TV recently interviewed one of the thousands of Turkish gravediggers. Turkish gravediggers are individuals who attempt to recover Armenian treasures, artifacts leftover from the genocide era of the previous century.

As if the 1.5 million Armenian lives lost, and dispossession of properties and homes were not enough, certain Turks are ‘proudly’ rummaging for precious metals. They do so by desecrating Armenian graves and ancient Armenian sites, such as churches and homes.

Below is the interview on Haber Turk:

“How Can Armenian Gold Be Stolen?”

Host: Oylum Talu

Guest: Ugur Kulac

Guest: An infidel refuses to reveal the treasures location to a Turk, because they know we are trying to find their money. We are looking for money left by Armenians or Greeks.

Host: So, you’re a professional treasure hunter?

Guest: Yes, I am.

Host: You’re a very interesting person. First of all, your books are amazing. I want to give gift your books to people.

Guest: Thank you.

Host: Maps, explanation of maps. It is a very amazing book. What exactly is a treasure hunter?

Guest: The treasure hunter is a gold digger. The only thing on the mind of the treasure hunter is gold—nothing else. Of course, when digging carelessly, hunters can potentially destroy places. Treasure hunters know several secret locations, some of which are even unknown to archaeologists. This is what makes a true gold finder.

Host: Wow! So cool! Gold finder! How many treasure hunters are there in Turkey?

Guest: There are more than 500,000 treasure hunters, all of whom are registered with my company.

Host: Really?

Guest: Yes!

Host: 500,000 treasure hunters?

Guest: I have been working in this field for about 18 years. I have also been producing and selling these devices. As of today, I have sold them to 25,000 people. We currently have 130 companies in Turkey. We are serving in this field for the people. For example, if the state asked treasure hunters to bring forward all their findings, the materials brought forward would be more than those in a museum.

Host: Wow!

Guest: The treasure found in Turkey is usually found in tons, pots and kettles.

Host: Pots, tons and kettles? Types of containers?

Guest: Yes.

Host: So, they put all their gold into a kettle, because there were no banks at that time. They were attempting to escape, unable to take their belongings.

Guest: Of course.

Guest: The history of this work is approximately 100 years. At the time, minorities were being deported out of the country. Having to leave their belongings behind, individuals buried their valuables in different places, with the thought that they would one day return for them. But most of them could not find any way to return. Their children, however, at a certain time of the year, visit parts of Turkey that their ancestors were from. They attempt to dig up buried money left behind by their people. They have maps, and stay as guests at the homes of their ancestors’ neighbors. When the owner of the house falls asleep, the descendants of these minorities go out and dig. If they find any money left behind they take it and leave. Thus, treasure hunting is divided into two groups. The first group attempts to hunt for the belongings of these minorities; while the second group is composed of those who are looking for treasures of ancient civilizations. [The guest then demonstrates how he finds treasures through his search device which unfortunately does not work]. The first time you get caught by the state, there is no penalty. The region of Izmit was the capital of the Roman Empire and there are plenty of buried treasures there. Of course, there are small buried treasures which belong to minorities of the near past. Magic must be practiced there, because the treasure is given to the genies for protection. We are looking for gold coins. Gold is invaluable for treasure hunters. For example, statues made of gold or gold coins. These hold incredible value. They can easily be sold everywhere. The gold is first melted, and then sold. Or, the gold will be directly sold to smugglers, and even to the state. If the government permits, I will find the money to repay the Turkish government’s debt to the International Monetary Fund.

Host: Why hasn’t the world seen this gold?

Guest: Because various countries do not want the gold to come out of Turkey. Treasure hunters are not interested in ancient cities or areas. The only interest for them is to find the grave, dig, take whatever is valuable, and leave.

Host: Why don’t archaeologists like you?

Guest: Because we break the historical materials.

Host: So, what you’re saying is, “we are looking for the money of the deported minorities in the last 60 to 90 years?”

Guest: I have parliamentarians, doctors, businessmen, and professors as customers. Now that spring is here, the treasure hunters liven up. They have been patient for months. They will attack now. It’s the same every year. The materials found through the digging done this year will be sold abroad, again. We are not materialistic. We believe in spirituality, too. Muslims must be rich and powerful. Why should we be poor? We are a special country created by Allah!

Host: Thank you very much.

These thieves are not only stealing the treasures belonging to Armenians and other minorities, but are also breaking Turkish laws. It is incredible that such individuals are appearing on Turkish television and recounting their criminal activities with such brazen arrogance! Turkey has strict laws for treasure hunters whose permits are limited to 30 days and an area of 100 square meters. There is a long list of “cultural areas” such as religious sites and graves where even licensed treasure hunters are not allowed to dig.


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