The New York Times published an article about the Armenian cities of Western Armenia. The article notes that the Turkish authorities are still carrying out a genocide with regard to the cultural heritage of the Armenians.
The temple built in the 10th century under an Armenian king was turned into a mosque three times and served as a Russian Orthodox Church. In 1919, the temple became an Armenian church, but soon, the Turkish authorities turned it into an oil depot, then into a museum, and then again into a mosque in 1921.”
Today, the cathedral is closed, and its future fate is unknown, given the fact that in Kars, there is almost no Christian population.
Kars is one of those cities that faced the greatest brutality. “The multinational population of the city was exiled and destroyed. The Armenian Genocide of 1915, however, became the most frightening atrocity in the region,” the article says.
The second city mentioned in the article is Ani. With a population of over 100 thousand people, it was the center of the Armenian kingdom in the 10th-11th centuries.
“Turkey still continues the policy of the denial of the genocide. Nevertheless, the tabooed Armenian issue is a topic of scientific research and discussions in Turkey itself.”
In the 2000s, when Turkey was actively trying to join the EU, its authorities revised their policy towards national minorities. So in 2010, an Armenian church was again opened on the shore of Lake Van. “Despite the fact that the services are held there once a year, this step was met with resistance in the Turkish society.”
Summarizing, the author of the article notes: “Erdogan recently took unexpected initiatives aimed at improving relations with Russia and Israel, but as for the Armenian-Turkish border, its opening is still considered impossible due to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).”