YEREVAN, MAY 16, ARMENPRESS: The Turkish Hurriyet daily has recently expressed some concerns over the explosions, carried out by Armenia in stone quarries located on the other side of the border. The Turkish paper claimed the explosions were damaging the mediaeval city of Ani, which was by the way the capital of the Armenian kingdom of Bagratuni.
The Armenian press has also commented on these explosions providing some explanations. In response to these rumors the Armenian foreign affairs ministry’s UNESCO department spread an announcement, which runs as follows:
“The Turkish permanent representative in UNESCO sent a letter of complaints to the UNESCO deputy head of culture issues, expressing protest against the explosions realized in Armenia at a distance of 600 meters from the city of Ani. The letter claimed that the explosions were damaging the churches and a mosque in Ani.
A duplicate of the letter was sent by the UNESCO leadership to the Armenian foreign affairs ministry, asking to discuss the issue. Armenia’s foreign minister Vartan Oskanian addressed the trade and industry minister Karen Chshmaritian asking to stop explosions, stressing the importance of the Armenian medieval capital for all the Armenians.
In response to Vartan Oskanian’s letter, Mr. Chshmariatian said that the explosions will continue till May 31 to provide stones for the construction of Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan”.
Accepting the protest of the Turkish side, the UNESCO department of the ministry of foreign affairs announced that Armenia has never meant to damage Ani, the unique Armenian cultural monument. The Armenian side is also displeased with the fact that Turkey addressed international structures instead of addressing Armenia directly.