An Armenian woman visited the site of an old Armenian cemetery in the Tuşba district of Turkey’s eastern province Van (Wan). She couldn’t stop her tears flowing as she surveyed the destruction before her, as cameras also recorded the evidence of the destruction.
This is an Armenian cemetery that was desecrated and totally destroyed a short while ago by people claiming to be the owners of the site.
Gayane Gevorgyan, an Armenian, settled in Van during the year marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide that resulted in the murders and deaths of so many Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Van was a city that once hosted one of the most populous urban communities of the Armenians.
Speaking to Mesopotamian News Agency, she noted how hard it was to comprehend that the Armenian cemetery was actually destroyed using heavy machinery.
“They see such things and do the same in Azerbaijan,” she said. “They do the same thing to Armenian graveyards. They don’t learn something nice from one another. Nobody learns a thing in this beautiful world.”
She wandered through the site that was once a cemetery, stopping by upturned gravestones which still remained intact, reading the names carved on them.
“There’s a name on it,” she said, pointing towards a gravestone with a cross carved on it. “Those who came later carved these, to mark the graveyards of their grandfathers. This is not the type of cross that was used before 1915.”
She protested at the nature of the destruction and desecration: “Don’t the people who gave permission for this, and who dug all of this up, don’t they realise they will have graves of their own? Haven’t they thought about this? Haven’t they thought that they too will die one day and have their own graves?”
She pointed to another gravestone, and read the inscription. “This belongs to a woman. It was a gravestone of a woman,” she observed. “Such a pity they’ve done this. This is a great sin. They pray five times a day. They pray to God. They’ve committed the greatest sin here. God won’t accept the prayer of the one who did this.”
She added: “They wiped out, killed all Armenians. Now that there’s nobody left to kill, they’re smashing gravestones, desecrating the graves.”