Kuzeydeki iki ocak 4. Part of the northern quarry, photographed in and seen from the church of Tigran Honents 8. Part of the northern quarry from the Armenian side of the border, with Ani in the background. The full article in Turkish can be read here. The following is an approximate English translation of its most important sections. Ani which is a protected site is in danger of collapse due to earth tremors because of the Armenian explosions.
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Kuzeydeki iki ocak 4. Part of the northern quarry, photographed in and seen from the church of Tigran Honents 8. Part of the northern quarry from the Armenian side of the border, with Ani in the background. The full article in Turkish can be read here.
The following is an approximate English translation of its most important sections. Ani which is a protected site is in danger of collapse due to earth tremors because of the Armenian explosions. The Cathedral, dating from and the Church of Tigran Honents, from , have become cracked and masonry has started to fall down. Ani is located near Kars on the border with Armenia, and it suffers from unpublicised Armenian aggression.
Everyday the Armenians explode dynamite which causes artificial earthquakes. The Ani ruins, which date from the 9th and 10th century and which are near the Arpacay river, are cracking from hundreds of dynamite explosions. People from this region are angry because of the hundreds of explosions, and say that both they and Ani have to live with 3 to 5 earth tremors made by the Armenians everyday. He said that the Armenian stone quarry was formerly located 1km from Ani and they could see it from their village.
Now it is much closer than before. Not only us, but Esenkent village, 5km from here, and Arasoglu village, 4km from here, can also hear it". Sometimes the earth shakes. House windows rattle. All the family can feel it. Because of this dynamiting these historical monuments are being destroyed.
On the The problem of the dynamite explosions and the destruction of Ani was brought up in a petition from May On A petition stated that from the start of the dynamite explosions till today the Cathedral, the Tigran Honents church Boyali Kilise , the city-wall, and the Minuchihr Mosque have all been damaged.
She further noted that blasting operations ceased a month ago. Turkey filed a complaint with UNESCO, accusing Armenia of deliberately destroying the ruins of Ani by means of explosions in the mines located meters from the Turkish border. The letter claimed that the explosions are causing damage to the Ani Cathedral, another church, and a mosque. The blasting operations were stopped in case damage was actually being caused to the medieval Armenian capital of Ani, which is treasured by all Armenians.
Chshmaritian has stated that the mining will resume till May 31 so that the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan can be completed. The foreign ministry statement says Armenia understands and agrees with the concerns raised by Turkey. However, the Armenian side does not have the slightest intention of damaging the ruins of Ani.
The fact that the Turks chose to apply to international bodies before approaching Armenia is an indication of Turkish efforts to politicize the issue, rather than deal with the actual problem of preserving the landmarks, says the statement.
The Turkish government's concern for historic Armenian landmarks located on its territory is inconsistent with the decades-long official Turkish state policy of intentionally destroying or converting these landmarks into Turkish monuments.
The text says that the previous issue of the magazine contained an article on the quarry, however, I do not have a copy of it. The June article began with:. It is already seven years that the Turkish-language with two pages in Armenian Agos weekly is being published in Istanbul. In contrary to two Armenian-language dailies published in Istanbul - Jamanak and Marmara, Agos pursues a goal to somehow tie Istanbul-Armenians with those Armenians who don't speak Armenian. We met Agos editor-in-chief Hrant Dink in the editorial office of the newspaper.
At the very end of the story is the following: Question: People say that Turkey also carried out a cultural genocide, hundreds of Armenian cultural monuments were destroyed in Turkey. Does Agos write about it? Answer: Here is the last issue of our paper, where I wrote how Ani's walls were destroyed when quarries were being exploded in Armenia. Turkish press wrote about it. I wrote that "do Turks have a right to speak, did they make any effort for preserving any Armenian Church in their territory, didn't they close their eyes when the churches were turning into ruins?
A photograph of the actual blasting accompanied the article. The Armenian settlement of Ani Bemza sits just yards across the Akhurian River from the ancient capital of Ani, just inside the Turkish border. In the ancient Armenian Ani, year-old churches stand in ruins, and are collapsing quickly, according to the Turkish government, which complained to UNESCO that Armenians were dynamiting stone quarries on the Armenian side, just so they could damage the ancient churches on the Turkish side.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry wondered why Turkey had not expressed its concerns to Armenia directly. It had also said that all blasts would seize by May 31st. Ironically, Ejmiatsin is using the stones from the Ani quarries to complete the construction of the new St. Gregory Cathedral in Yerevan. Aytekin later visited the ancient city of Ani which is composed of historical ruins belonging to Turks, Georgians, Armenians and a number of other civilizations. I will discuss the matter with the Culture Minister as soon as I return to Ankara.
The government will take certain measures to stop the explosions," he said. The dispute is but one legacy of the countries' bloody, bitter history. But today, one of the holiest sites of Armenian Christian Orthodoxy is facing what an archeologist here calls the biggest threat of its millennium-old existence: dynamite blasts from four stone quarries less than a quarter of a mile away in Armenian territory. The stone, ironically, is being mined to build a Christian Orthodox cathedral in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, that will look similar to the one in Ani.
Turkish officials say the deafening explosions have shaken the area for two years despite their pleas to Armenia for the quarrying to stop. Armenians often use it to describe how they say the Ottoman Turks killed 1. Turkish officials today acknowledge that as many as , Armenians died but portray them as victims of civil disorders, exposure and starvation as they fled southward to escape the conflict.
The dispute over those deaths still stands in the way of diplomatic and trade relations between Armenia and Turkey, as does Armenia's continued occupation of territory claimed by Turkey's closest regional ally, Azerbaijan. Gagik Gurjan, head of the cultural heritage department of the Armenian Culture Ministry, said geologists at the quarries had been consulted and that they had reported that the quarrying of stone there could not be damaging the cathedral in Ani.
At their first meeting last month, in Geneva, they reportedly discussed a joint effort to preserve the ruins of this walled medieval town. Until the early decades of the 20th century, at least 2 million Armenians are believed to have lived in Turkey, mostly in the east.
Today, about 60, Armenians remain in Turkey; most of them live in Istanbul. Nowhere are traces of the Anatolia region's Armenian heritage more visible than in Ani, 27 miles northeast of the Turkish town of Kars.
Ani rises above the emerald green waters of the Arpa River, which separates Turkey from Armenia. Stubby pillars that once supported a 14th century stone bridge between the two countries remain as a symbol of the neighbors' stormy ties. Armenians and Turks tell different versions of Ani's history.
Turkish historians insist that Ani holds greater significance for Turkey because it was one of the first Anatolian cities to be conquered by the Seljuk Turks when they swept in from Central Asia in the early 11th century.
Armenian rule, they say, did not last more than 50 to 70 years before defeat by the Seljuks. According to Armenian accounts, Ani was ruled for much of its history by a succession of Armenian kings, and it was their capital for at least two centuries. In the 10th century, Ani was glorified by the Armenians as "the city of a thousand and one churches," with the cathedral as its centerpiece.
The septuagenarian archeologist says she has records of every blast and every crack and hole resulting from each explosion. The nearby Menucehr, the oldest Seljuk mosque in the region, has suffered some of the worst damage. In this earthquake-weary country, residents of the neighboring village of Ocakli often mistake the tremors for quakes.
Our cows have stopped producing milk," said Muhammad Sevcan, a local farmer. In an embarrassment for the Armenian government, an ear-splitting explosion rocked the site in mid-June just as a group of Armenian Americans had gathered to pray at the cathedral.
They were part of a member group of Armenian Americans on a pilgrimage through Turkey to retrace the steps of St. Pilgrims reportedly sent letters of complaint to the Armenian government. No explosions have been heard here since mid-July.
NB: the above story is false. It originated in a Turkish newspaper several days after the pilgrimage event. No explosions took place during the two hours that the Armenians spent at Ani. Turkish officials, though, say they doubt that the respite will last long. They point to a May 5 report from Russia's Interfax news agency quoting an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the quarrying would stop by the end of that month.
But it wasn't because of complaints from Turkey, he said, but because workers are now using different quarrying methods. The Armenian Foreign Ministry has told Interfax, quoting the request, that the demolition endangers historical monuments in the old Armenian town of Ani situated on the territory of contemporary Turkey.
A ministry spokesman warned Turkey "not to speculate on such issues any longer by sending letters to international organizations, but to get in touch directly with Yerevan instead. The works should be continued as materials are needed for the construction of the St Grikor Lusavorich Cathedral in Yerevan. But the industry and trade ministry of Armenia "giving an understanding to the problem" said it has to continue the works.
The Turkish paper claimed the explosions were damaging the mediaeval city of Ani, which was by the way the capital of the Armenian kingdom of Bagratuni. The Armenian press has also commented on these explosions providing some explanations. The letter claimed that the explosions were damaging the churches and a mosque in Ani.
Armenia's foreign minister Vartan Oskanian addressed the trade and industry minister Karen Chshmaritian asking to stop explosions, stressing the importance of the Armenian medieval capital for all the Armenians.
In response to Vartan Oskanian's letter, Mr. Chshmariatian said that the explosions will continue till May 31 to provide stones for the construction of Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan". Accepting the protest of the Turkish side, the UNESCO department of the ministry of foreign affairs announced that Armenia has never meant to damage Ani, the unique Armenian cultural monument.
The Armenian side is also displeased with the fact that Turkey addressed international structures instead of addressing Armenia directly.
Georgian, Armenian and Turkish historical treasures and many others on the Turkish-Armenian border are being harmed by the stone quarries which opened between just meters away from the border. Kurkcuoglu said the Armenian's attitude shows that they are not considering the possibility of destroying historical treasures.
Samatya Anarad Hığutyun Ermeni Katolik Kilisesi Restorasyon Projesi