Turkey stands behind the destruction of the Armenian Church in Syria, experts say

Alisa Gevorgyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Experts are confident Turkey stands behind the destruction of the Armenian Church in Deir ez-Zor.

Armen Petrosyan and Andranik Ispiryan, experts in Arabic and Turkish studies respectively, are confident there is an active cooperation between the Islamic State and Turkey, and what happened in Deir ez-Zor was the product of this  interaction.

According to Armen Petrosyan, the blowup of the Armenian Church pursued several goals. “Islamists want to appear in the focus of attention of world media, to become a symbol of heroism for young Muslims to encourage them to join the group,” he said.

Andranik Ispiryan said, in turn, that through cooperation with the Islamic State, Turkey is trying to overthrow Assad’s regime and bring Suni Muslims to power, to neutralize the Kurdish element in Syria, destroy the large Armenian community formed in Syria after the Armenian Genocide and erase its cultural heritage.

Armen Petrosyan calls attention to the fact that Turkey was the first state to start talks with Islamists, as a result of which 49 Turkish citizens were set free. Videos on the web show Islamists freely walking in the streets of Istanbul in their uniform. According to the experts, these are evidences of Turkey’s internal cooperation with the Islamists.

While authorities in Armenia have severely condemned the attack on the Saint Martyrs Church, Turkey stubbornly keeps silent on the issue. So does the Turkish press. According to Andranik Ispiryan, the Armenian Agos daily was the only paper to cover the destruction of the Church and two Turkish-language websites have re-posted the news with reference to Agos.

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