Anush R. Hovhannisyan
The article is an attempt to present the demolition of Armenian culture during and after the Armenian Genocide in Turkey in the context of the conception of cultural genocide. According to R.Lemkin, genocide is not only the physical annihilation of an ethnic or religious group but also the elimination of its national culture. A number of specialists believe that the definition of genocide also includes the notion of cultural genocide. Cultural genocide is expressed in those actions and measures which are aimed at damaging the identity of the target-group and encouraging the annihilation of its ethnic culture, destructing the monuments, applying linguicide, cultural cannibalism, reinterpretation of history, denialism, etc.
The Republican Turkey has not recognized and is still trying to deny the very fact of genocide. So the long history of the efforts of the Turks to erase the fact of the crime of the Armenian genocide from memory, to destroy the Armenian cultural monuments, to discriminate the Armenian historical heritage of Western Armenia are part of a systematic policy and can be defined as cultural genocide.
The Armenian cultural heritage is a part of the world’s civilization, so the concern of its preservation should be shared by the world community and must be protected by international effort.