During the so-called restoration works, the historic fortress in the city of Van (Western Armenia, present-day Turkey) built in the era of the Kingdom of Van (Urartu) three thousand years ago was severely damaged.
Hundreds of historical manuscripts, staircases, fortress roads, and structures were destroyed under the pretext of excavations both before and after the September 12, 1980, Turkish coup d’état.
The head of the Association of Protection of Environment and Historical Monuments in Van Ali Kalcyk stated that the Turkish government aims to destroy the historical fortress of Van along with many of its artifacts.
“Today happens the same thing that took place on September 12,” he said, “The government views all historical structures of our region as the heritage of the Seljuks and the Ottomans. They pretend that Median, Hurrian, Armenian, and all other civilizations haven’t existed before that.
This is the result of the policy of complete denial, destruction, and assimilation. They start the history of the region from the era of the Seljuks’ and the Ottomans’ rule, denying the traces of the existence of former Armenian statehood and civilization. In its turn, this means the denial of those nations’ existence and the operation of a historical genocide.”
Nazan Erish said about the complete destruction of the historical appearance of the structure:
“The historical features of the fortress existed before. Every stone of this building contained inscriptions from the times of the Kingdom of Van. Hundreds of stairs existed as well. Now, instead of the inscriptions and stairs, there are concrete stairways and modern stones. Simply put, history was destroyed in the fortress of Van.”