Armenian, Catholic cemeteries destroyed for store construction in Ankara
A burial site for Armenian and Catholic citizens in Ankara is being destroyed by the construction of stores. Bones found on the construction site were sent to a lab at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, the Ankara Architects Chamber said.
A burial site for Armenian and Catholic residents in Ankara's Ulus district is being used as construction grounds for a store.
The Ankara Architects Chamber petitioned the Housing Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) and the Culture and Tourism Ministry to stop construction on the burial grounds, noting that construction on any faith's cemetery is disrespectful.
"The area is zoned as an Armenian and Catholic cemetery, and city plans show a church and Turkish bath on the grounds as well," Ankara Architects Chamber Chair Tezcan Karakuş Candan said.
Conducting construction on the burial grounds is a violation of human rights, Candan noted, adding that it's unacceptable to erase a community's history to build some 46 store spaces.
"It's inhumane to pour concrete, build stores on the graves of the Anatolia's residents, regardless of their religion, race or language."
Bones found on the construction site were sent to a lab at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, Candan said.
The destruction of minorities' holy constructs is, unfortunately, a common practice in Turkey, with parliament often found to stand idly by.