Western Armenia TV discussed the term “Cultural Genocide” as part of the series “On the Question of the Armenians of Western Armenia”.
The term “cultural genocide” was defined by Raphael Lemkin at the same time as the definition of the word “genocide” and according to his original definition, the systematic and intentional destruction of a group was an integral part of the crime of genocide.
However, over the years, the term has undergone changes by various genocide scholars, deviating from its original definition. The individual approaches and disagreements among theorists regarding the term “cultural genocide” are largely due to the lack of a clear definition of the term from the perspective of international law.
It is obvious that the destruction of cultural values is hardly comparable to the physical destruction of people or the extermination of an entire group, but the example of the genocide committed against the Armenians in particular proves that they are two sides of the same thing. crime, which are interconnected and, as a rule, do not manifest themselves separately. :
Samuel Totten, professor of sociology at the University of Arkansas, rightly calls the policy against Armenian cultural monuments a genocidal act.
In particular, he writes that the goal of the Turks was not only to kill all Armenians, but also to erase the last trace of their former existence. “To achieve this, the Turks resorted to various methods, burning and destroying all Armenian churches and cultural monuments.”Using the example of the genocide against Armenians , it can be argued that the ultimate goal of the perpetrators is the destruction of the targeted group, which, in addition to physical destruction, includes many other components, including cultural. To separate or distinguish even one of these components from the same crime and to try to describe it in other terms would be to distort and soften the crime of genocide. The genocide committed against the Armenians is a classic example, where the perpetrators, in addition to the physical extermination of the Armenians, constantly proceeded to the systematic destruction of the Armenian culture, language and history. The above policy continued during the subsequent Turkish regimes, completing the cleansing of the Armenians and all traces and memories connected with them from their historical territories.