Nov 28, 2011

800,000 Ottoman gold coins treasure

Recently a story emerged in Switzerland about six tons of gold, shipped from historic Armenia to Geneva to be deposited at the Credit Suisse Bank, which refuses to release the treasure to a Turkish family who claims ownership. The news first broke in the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, on October 17. A commentary about the case also appeared in the Turkiye newspaper by Prof. Cagri Erhan, who, rather than questioning the provenance of the treasure, questions the Credit Suisse Bank’s motives for refusing to give the gold to a businessman from Elazig (the historic Armenian city of Kharpert) named Sayid Ali Bayraki. The Turkologist Hagop Chakerian has translated the article for the daily Azg in Yerevan, spicing it with his own comments. Most of the information about this developing story comes through Mr. Chakerian’s article, published in the November 11, 2011 issue of Azg. The Elazig businessman, Sayid Ali Bayraki, has been fighting for many years to receive 800,000 Ottoman gold coins inherited from his father. The Swiss ambassador in Turkey, Raymond Kuntz, has traveled to Elazig to discuss the case of the gold, the origins of which are still shrouded in mystery. Isn’t this an extremely extraordinary story? But how could one carry 800,000 Ottoman gold coins, which weigh six metric tons, from Turkey to Switzerland? According to Mr. Bayraki, his father transported the six tons of gold to Switzerland, traveling on land and by sea. Today, the 800,000 Ottoman gold coins are worth $3.5 billion.Read More.