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Cultural Genocide



Acts and measures undertaken to destroy any nations’ or ethnic groups’ culture is called, ‘cultural genocide’. The word ‘Genocide’ coined by Raphael Lemkin, does not only refer to the physical extermination of a national or religious group, but also its national, spiritual and cultural destruction. The concept of a cultural genocide has not yet been accepted into the 1948 UN Convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of Genocide.

Many proven facts concomitant with the massacres and deportation are witness to the fact that the Young Turk government premeditated and planed a systematic method aiming to destroy the material testimonies of the Armenian civilization. Realizing the role of the church and Christian faith within the Armenian nation, they knowingly massacred Armenian clergymen, destroyed churches, monasteries and other properties of church, alongwith thousands of medieval handwritten illuminated manuscripts.

An Arab eye witnesses to the Armenian Genocide, Fayez el Husseyn, writes in his memoirs "... After the massacres of the Armenians, the government establishedcommissions who were engaged in selling the leftover property. Armenian cultural values were sold at the cheapest prices... I once went to the church to see how the sale of these things is organized. The doors of the Armenian schools were closed. The Turks used sciene books in the bazaar for wrapping cheese, dates, sunflowers... In 1912 the Armenian patriarchy of Istanbul presented an account of the churches and monasteries in Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) and in the Ottoman Empire. More than 2300 were accounted for including the early unique Christian monuments of IV-V cc. Most part of them were looted, burned and destroyed by the Turks during the genocide.

The policy of destruction adopted by the Young Turks with regard to Armenian historical and cultural heritage was continued in Republican Turkey where these relics were viewed as undesirable witnesses of the Armenian presence.

At the end of 1920s, Turkey began the process of changing the names of certain locations in Western Armenia. Presently 90% of the Armenian cities, towns and buildings in Eastern Turkey Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) have been Turkified. Armenian geographical sites' names have also been replaced with Turkish names. Devising a systemanic method of destruction, hundreds of architectural monuments have been destroyed and all Armenian inscriptions erased.

In 1974 UNESCO stated that after 1923, out of 913 Armenian historical monuments left in Eastern Turkey, 464 have vanished completely, 252 are in ruins, and 197 are in need of repair. Armenian architectural buildings are consistently being demolished using dynaminte and are used as a targets during Turkish military training exercises; the undamaged stones are used as construction materials. In some rural places, Armenian monasteries and churches serve as a stables, stores, clubs and in once case, even a jail. On many occasions the Turkish government converted Armenian churches into mosques.

On June 18, 1987 the council of Europe adopted a decree wherein the 6th point mentions that: the Turkish government must pay attention to and take care to heed the language, culture and educational system of the Armenian Diaspora living in Turkey, simultaneously demanding an appropriate regard to the Armenian monuments that are situated in Turkey’s territory.

Cultural genocide against the Armenian heritage on the territory of Turkey continues...



Following slides present selected Armenian medieval monuments destroyed during and after the Armenian genocide.



Horomos Monastery, 10th-11th centuries


• The view of the Horomos Monastery before 1965 and in 1998 (photo S. Karapetian)


Sourb Prkich (Holy Saviour) Church of Ani, 11th century


• The view of the monument in 1910s and in 2000 (photo S. Karapetian)


Bagnayr Monastery, Bagnayr (Ghozluja) Village, 11th-13th centuries


• The view of the Bagnayr Monastery monument before the 1960s and in 2000 (photo S. Karapetian)


Khtzkonk Monastery, 7th-13th centuries


• The view of Monastery complex, early 20th century photo
• The view of Monastery complex after explosion in 1966


• The view of Monastery complex, early 20th century photo
• The part of Monastery complex nowadays (photo S. Karapetian)


• The view of Monastery complex, early 20th century photo
• The view of Monastery complex, in 2000 after explosion in 1966 (photo S. Karapetian)


Tekor Temple, 5th century




• The view of the monument before 1912 and in 2000 (photo S. Karapetian)


St. Hovhannes Church of Bagrevand, 613-619


• The view of the monument before 1966 and in 2000 (photo S. Karapetian)



• Ani, mediaeval Armenian capital, coat of arms of the city in 1910s and 2000, after the Turkish restoration



• Van, region of Aghbak, St. Bartholomew the Apostle Monastery, 1913 and 1980 ( photo A. Hakhnazarian)



• Van, Hermitage of Lim Island, North Eastern view, early 1900s and 2004 (photo S. Karapetian)



• Moosh, Sb. Arakelots (of the Holy Apostles) Monastery, 4th-15th centuries, early 1900s and 2000 (photo S. Karapetian)



• Moosh, Sb. Karapet Monastery, 4th-18th centuries, South Western view, early 1900s
• Moosh, village Cankly, on the site of Sb. Karapet Monastery (photo 2000, S. Karapetian)



• Van, region of Rshtoonik (Gevascd), the Village-Monastery of Narek, South Western view, early 1900s
• Van, region of Rshtoonik (Gevascd), Mosque built on the site of destroyed Narek Monastery in 2004 (photo S. Karapetian)



• Van, village of Koghbantz, ruins of the Monastery of Salnapat, 10th-13th centuries South Western view, early 1900s and 2004 (photo S. Karaperian)



• Van village of Shoushants, site of the Monastery of Karmravor Sb. Asdvadsadsin, early 1900s and 2004 (photo S. Karapetian)



• Van, Varag Monastery, 5th-19th centuries, early 1900s and 2004 (photo 2004, S. Karapetian)


Photo sources:

RESEARCH ON ARMENIAN ARCHITECTURE

"The Armenian Architecture a Cultural Genocide" published by the Armenian National Committee of Canada, Montreal 2005

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Virtual Museum

International meeting

genocide
The Comparative Analysis of the 20th Century Genocides
International Association of Genocide Scholars
The twelfth meeting
8-12 July 2015, Yerevan

LEMKIN SCHOLARSHIP

Lemkin
AGMI ANNOUNCES 2015
LEMKIN SCHOLARSHIP FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS

International Conference

genocide
The Caucasus Frontline of the First World War.
Genocide, Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance


Yerevan, April 21-22, 2014

Temporary exhibition

FIRST
FIRST WORLD WAR: allies, images, massacres
In April 21-th, 2014, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is organizing a temporary exhibition presenting hundreds of newly found original caricatures, postcards, posters, etc, representing a unique iconography condemning Turkey as a country that committed Genocide.

Temporary exhibition

genocide
CHILDREN VICTIMS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

In 2014 the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute for the first time is organizing a temporary exhibition dedicated to the tragic faith of the children victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Remember

remember
Samvel Kentikyan _ was born in 1867 in Arabkir (Western Armenia, province of Kharberd). After graduating from Central Turkish College of Aintab he returned to his hometown and worked as a teacher for one year. He also served as a preacher in Rodosto. Samvel Kentikyan worked as a teacher at the American College of Izmir. He was exiled in 1915 and died in the prison of Konya. A victim of the Armenian Genocide.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE STUDIES  

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE STUDIES
RA, Armenia Yerevan 0028
Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex
Tel: (374 10) 39 09 81
Fax: (374 10) 39 10 41
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