MP from Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Garo Paylan sent a parliamentary question to Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy about the photos depicting the destruction of an Armenian cemetery in the Sincan district of Ankara, Bianet reported.
He noted that the Armenian cemetery in Stanoz was declared a protected area in the 1990s and added: “The looting of this area by treasure hunters and contractors deeply upset the Armenian community in Turkey and all our conscientious citizens.”
He then asked the Minister the following questions:
- “Why don’t you guard the Ankara Stanoz Armenian cemetery?”
- “Do you have plans to protect the numerous Armenian cemeteries in the country?”
- “Have you ever attempted to capture treasure hunters robbing the Armenian cemetery of Stanoz?”
Located in the Zir valley in the Yenikent district of Sincan, the Stanoz cemetery has the status of a protected zone of the second degree. The part of the cemetery adjacent to agricultural land is also used as a picnic area.
The barbed wire around the cemetery installed by the Sincan municipality a few years ago has been dismantled and moved to vineyards built in the valley.
Photos of human bones emerging from locations dug up in the cemetery by treasure hunters have repeatedly appeared on social media.