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Armenia's Broken Heritage

In July 2016, the ancient Armenian city of Ani, now in eastern Turkey, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For Armenians, a people still living under the shadow of what they regard as "the first genocide of the 20th centuryā€¯ carried out against their ancestors who lived under the Ottoman Empire, the listing ensures protection of a small but treasured piece of their heritage. But a visit to the region today shows that, outside the walls of Ani, what remains of Armenian culture in Turkey is in danger of disappearing entirely.
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In a gorge that separates Armenia (background) from Turkey, the Monastery of the Hripsimian Virgins is one of the crumbling remnants of Ani, a capital once known as the "City Of 1,001 Churches."
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In a gorge that separates Armenia (background) from Turkey, the Monastery of the Hripsimian Virgins is one of the crumbling remnants of Ani, a capital once known as the "City Of 1,001 Churches."

Sun-scorched plains and the ruins of Ani Cathedral. A complex tug-of-war since its founding more than a millennium ago saw Ani variously controlled by Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Armenia before finally being captured by the newly formed Turkish Republic in 1920. Ani was abandoned centuries ago, but it is treasured by Armenians today as a symbol of former splendor.
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Sun-scorched plains and the ruins of Ani Cathedral. A complex tug-of-war since its founding more than a millennium ago saw Ani variously controlled by Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Armenia before finally being captured by the newly formed Turkish Republic in 1920. Ani was abandoned centuries ago, but it is treasured by Armenians today as a symbol of former splendor.

The Church of Saint Gregory of the Abughamrents in Ani. In 1998, three tombs inside the church were smashed and looted. 
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The Church of Saint Gregory of the Abughamrents in Ani. In 1998, three tombs inside the church were smashed and looted. 

The ruins of Kizkale Church overlooking the jigsaw border that separates Armenia (left) and Turkey. In 1914, more than 2 million Armenians lived in today's eastern Turkey, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. By 1922, more than three-quarters of those Armenians had perished or fled a state-organized drive to eradicate Armenians from Ottoman territory.
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The ruins of Kizkale Church overlooking the jigsaw border that separates Armenia (left) and Turkey. In 1914, more than 2 million Armenians lived in today's eastern Turkey, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. By 1922, more than three-quarters of those Armenians had perished or fled a state-organized drive to eradicate Armenians from Ottoman territory.

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