Alerts Congressional Offices to Ankara's Ongoing Practice of Destroying Ancient Armenian Religious and Cultural Monuments

October 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today forcefully condemned the Turkish government for the demolition of an Armenian Church in the city of Dikranagerd, also known as Diyarbekir.

According to an October 19th report by Bloomberg News, the church, which was under the Turkish government’s official protection, was torn down by a construction firm. The article, written by Mark Bentley, added that, “builder Kerem Emre used stones from the demolished church in the province of Diyarbekir to lay the foundations for a mosque” in its place.

“Turkey – which in 1915 committed genocide against the Armenian nation and has since waged an international campaign of threats and intimidation to deny its crime – is, today, in full view of the world, destroying the surviving cultural and religious heritage of its victims, seeking to erase even their memory from the Armenian homeland of four thousand years,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Sadly, our own government’s silence – its failure to confront Turkey’s denials -effectively enables, emboldens, even encourages Ankara’s ongoing pattern of aggressive behavior toward the Armenian people. The time has come for the U.S. government to finally break this destructive pattern. As a nation, we need to speak with moral clarity on the Armenian Genocide – signaling to Turkey in clear and forceful terms that the American people stand on the side of a just resolution of this crime against humanity.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to educate policy-makers and elected officials about Armenian American concerns, the ANCA has informed the Administration and Members of Congress about the desecration of this church.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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