Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Attacks Aiming At The Destruction Of Cultural Heritage , 14.04.2015

No: 113, 14 April 2015

We deplore and feel concerned about the inhumane attacks resulting in the destruction of movable and immovable cultural properties constituting the common heritage of humanity. We strongly condemn the brutal obliteration of archaeological sites, museums, places of worship and other religious places, and books and manuscripts which are irreplaceable and have unique historical value. We regard these acts of DEASH as a crime against humanity.

These cultural properties surviving thousands of years from past civilisations and entrusted to our care are inseparable parts of the identities of individuals and societies and constitute the common history of the humankind. We do not consider the destruction of these cultural assets in this manner as differently from the annihilation of countries, societies, religions and beliefs.

As one of the founding states of UNESCO and member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Turkey, first and foremost with its consciousness of culture, history and civilisation, calls for the immediate termination of such barbaric attacks aimed at the destruction of cultural heritage.

In the face of these unfortunate developments, Turkey has reinforced all necessary measures to prevent the illegal transfer of historical artefacts from their country of origin and mobilised all relevant forces in accordance with its obligations arising from international instruments.

On the other hand, we follow and note with astonishment the efforts for using these regrettable events as a pretext for legitimising the illegal and iniquitous acquisition of the historical artefacts of other countries and cultures.