An Armenian cemetery that sits on the grounds of the Holy Savior and the Forty Martyrs churches in Ankara has been desecrated by vandals, reported the Ermenihaber.am news site.
Mustafa Yenerogu, Vice-President of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) founded by Turkey’s former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has raised the issue with Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş.
He said that the remains were taken out of graves, and human bones were scattered throughout the cemetery.
Yeneroglu called the situation shameful, adding that the remains should be buried immediately, and the cemetery should be restored.
The Ankara Mayor has said they are dealing with that issue.
On a related matter, the Kurdish news site Rudaw is reporting that the Ergen church in the province of Dersim, which was built by Armenians 1,300 years ago, is being looted and stands in ruins in the absence of its original custodians.
The area has been impacted by the Turkish government-led attacks against the local Kurdish population.
“Looters are constantly digging and destroying it here,” Milayim Yildiz, a visitor, told Rudaw.
Locals are calling for the church to be renovated and reopened for tourism.
“Eight years ago, archaeologists came here, they did some research and said they would restore it. They came from Georgia, Armenia and all over Europe […] but no changes have been made yet,” the head of the village Ali Tezkir said.
In 2012, the Erzurum Department of Culture and Environmental Protection answered the request of Dersim’s Tourism Directorate to renovate and protect the church from vanishing, said the report in Rudaw. So far, no steps have been taken, it added.