The existing indisputable facts attest that the Government of the Young Turks attempted to accompany the mass slaughters of the Armenian people by the demolition of the monuments of Armenian civilization. Between 1912 and 1913 on the order of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople drew up a list of the Armenian churches and monasteries functioning in the territory of the empire.
According to a statistical survey conducted by Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian, their number amounted to 2,200, but 2,150 of them were plundered and set ablaze during the years of the Genocide. Thus, a large number of monuments a whole nation had created in their historical cradle were destructed, those actions confirming that the annihilation of the Armenian cultural heritage had been premeditated by the Turkish Government.
Republican Turkey has not recognized the fact of the Genocide yet: moreover, the rejection of the Armenian massacres has become a state policy in that country. Some ad hoc organizations are engaged in the publication and dissemination of books falsifying the history of the Armenian people. The Armenian spiritual and cultural monuments are either ascribed to the Turks, or deliberately demolished; the local Armenian educational institutions, very small in number, are exposed to discrimination, and pressure is exerted on the Armenians who are banned to teach their younger generations their own history. The planned attack against the Armenian people, their history and culture pursues two main objectives:
Since 1928 a process of altering the Armenian names of the settlements, rivers and mountains has commenced in Turkey: thus, Berdagh was renamed Dinlenje; Andzav Gyorushlu, Sevan Ortaja; Aren Gyolduzlu, Hajn Salimbeyli, and the township of Moks, Vaspurakan Province, turned first into Myukyus, then Bakhchisaray and, finally, Hyuseyniye.
The Turkish tourist guide-books include only the monuments of Ani and Akhtamar, presented as Turkish ones without any reference to their Armenian origin. The latter has turned into Akdamar ('White Vein' in Turkish), Ani into Ane ('Recollections' in Turkish), while Mount Ararat has been renamed as Aghredagh.
According to UNESCO's data for 1974, 464 out of the 913 Armenian buildings that remained standing after 1915 were totally annihilated, 252 were reduced to ruins, while 197 are in bad need of immediate reconstruction. Contrary to the fact that Turkey passed a law on the preservation and reconstruction of historical monuments, up till the present no Armenian monument has been repaired in that country without the alteration of its Armenian characteristics. At present the "restoration" of the walls of Ani is underway, but its initiators are actually implementing a programme of changing their Armenian features.
The Armenian architectural monuments that are being persistently blasted become targets during the military exercises of the Turkish army, whereas their finely-finished stones are used as building material. The standing ones serve as cattle-sheds, warehouses and even jails: sometimes they turn into mosques, or are declared monuments of "Seljuk architecture".
The Turkish Government often substantiates the destruction of the Armenian churches with earthquakes taking place in this zone, but how do the same earthquakes fail to damage the monuments of Seljuk architecture?
Throughout many years, the Turkish mass media have disseminated rumours according to which on "leaving" Turkey, the rich Armenians hid their jewelry under the stones bearing "gyavur" (infidel) writings, or cross reliefs. Motivated by this disinformation, the present-day inhabitants of these territories destroy everything suggesting something Armenian in an insatiable desire to find those treasures.
During the construction of Keban's dam in 1965, the pond posed a true threat for a number of historical monuments so that the task of their rescue emerged. Five of them, 2 mosques and 3 churches (2 of them Armenian and 1 Syrian) one of which was decorated with frescoes dating back to the 10th century were especially important. Thanks to the saving actions implemented, the mosques were moved to another site, while the Armenian churches were completely neglected and doomed to annihilation, despite the fact that they were the oldest among those monuments.
Today Turkey enjoys UNESCO membership, but there exist a spate of facts evidencing that it continues obliterating the history and culture
of the Armenian people.
The 6th clause of a resolution on the Armenian Genocide the European Council adopted on 18 June 1987 states:
The Turkish Government should show a fair treatment towards the identity, language, religion, culture and historical monuments of the Armenian people;
The Council of Europe demands that the conditions of the historical and architectural monuments situated in Turkey should be improved.