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Turkey: Armenian cemetery in Van destroyed by bulldozers

The desecration of the graves in this Christian cemetery in Van demonstrates the same contempt for the Christian history and heritage of Asia Minor that we see in the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora to mosques, and the conversion of other ancient churches to mosques as well. This contempt for Christianity and Christians is also manifested in the ongoing denial of property rights and legal identity to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Armenian Cemetery Destroyed in Turkey,” International Christian Concern, August 31, 2021:

08/31/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – An Armenian cemetery in Van was destroyed by bulldozers, leaving gravestones and bones upturned and strewn across the site. Someone claiming to be a landowner and desiring to set up apartments came with heavy machinery and began the demolition. The cemetery was located in Kalecik, which was an Armenian neighborhood even prior to the 1915 genocide.

Armenian cemeteries often hold significant meaning for the people group as a way to connect with their heritage and lost family members who died in the 1915 genocide. The destruction of this cemetery robs families of their ability to connect in varied ways to their past.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Van MP Murat Sarısaç submitted requests to parliament, questioning the efforts being made to provide adequate security for Armenian sites.

Armenian religious and cultural sites faced increased threats to preservation. Earlier this year, a 19th-century Armenian church was posted for sale to a Turkish real estate website, claiming it was “perfect for a tourist attraction because it is in a UNESCO protected area.”…

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