Old Van City is being destroyed

The historical ruins of the Old Van City are being destroyed. Historian Hasan Umar said that the old city should be taken under immediate protection.

The historical ruins known as the "Old Van City" on the outskirts of Van Castle are being destroyed. Treasure hunters have long been damaging the ruins which were founded in the Urartian period. Apart from treasure hunters, many areas with historical ruins are used as barns. Historian Hasan Umar emphasized that the old city should be taken under immediate protection.

Historical heritage is not protected

Speaking to MA, Umar noted that the history of the old city dates to 800 BC, defining the ruins that have survived as great historical heritage. Remarking that the artefacts left by the Urartians are not preserved, he said: “Cultural heritage also means a basin for humanity. Humanity embraces its own historical values, culture and values. The Old Van City should also be embraced.”

Destruction of cultural heritage

Umar pointed out that all the artifacts and old cities in the western provinces of Turkey were taken under protection and restored. He continued: “The indifference to Van city raises a question mark. Ancient inscriptions, languages, artefacts and knowledge are all here. In short, if this city is taken care of, tourism can prosper. The old city, which has been declared as an archaeological site, needs to be protected. If you declare a place a protected area, you should protect it. If you don’t, it means that you do not see this history as your own. You simply say that 'I came from a foreign region, I occupied these lands, I need to destroy the existing civilization and I need to prove that these lands belong to me'. Sovereign powers want to destroy the regions and cultures they have colonized. If treasure hunters are not prevented, then the aim is to destroy that culture.”

Umar concluded: “Such a historical site must be embraced. Cultures are the common heritage of humanity. Therefore, this approach must be abandoned, and the Van Castle and the structures in its surroundings must be preserved.”