YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Members of the Armenian intellectual community on Friday welcomed the Armenian government’s efforts seeking international recognition of the Armenian genocide–but urged it to condemn the wanton destruction of Armenian monumen’s within the Turkey’s borders.
Institute of Oriental Studies Turkish Division head–Ruben Safrastian–said thousands of Armenian cultural monumen’s are today subject to a policy of willful neglect and destruction on the part of Turkish authorities. This policy violates Turkey’s commitmen’s under the 1923 Lausanne Treaty–which clearly notes that "the Turkish government undertakes to grant full protection to the churches of Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities."
Safrastian said Armenian authorities must make full use of relevant international legislation to stop the barbaric policy of Turkey and urged Armenian authorities to raise this issue at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)–saying PACE would not hesitate to offer its support.
He said Turkey has also signed various treaties that provide for the protection of monumen’s. These treaties include the 1954 Hague treaty and the UNESCO treaties of 1970 and 1972. He said Turkey actively uses these treaties to sue for possession of cultural artifacts that originate within its territory.