Under Talaat’s order to “make every effort to destroy the name “Armenia” in Western Armenia”, the oppressors destroyed, razed and reduced to ashes almost all the churches and monasteries in Armenian-populated areas of Western Armenia and the Ottoman Empire. 

As the historian and philologist Gevorg Mesrop, the patriarch of Western Armenia, wrote, “Even we Armenians did not know the real number of our monasteries and churches… their type and quantity, their quality and value.”

But fortunately, lists and statistical data of Armenian monasteries and churches compiled on various occasions in the years preceding the First World War and the genocide perpetrated by the Turks against the Armenians give an idea of their approximate number. According to testimonies, 1727 Armenian Apostolic monasteries and churches were completely destroyed and looted. According to other data, more than 2,000 Armenian monasteries, churches and chapels were destroyed and looted in Western Armenia and throughout Ottoman Turkey during those years. The victims of the genocide committed against the Armenians were the medieval manuscripts and manuscripts decorated with miniatures that belonged to these monasteries and churches, which were also the personal property of many Armenians of Western Armenia, preserved in their families as sacred objects and passed down from generation to generation, for which knowledgeable people were ready to give their property.