APPEAL CONCERNING ISIS!

PRESS RELEASE

APPEAL CONCERNING ISIS!

As we write, one of the most systematic destructions of cultural heritage in recent memory is taking place for the whole world to see in Mesopotamia; the cradle of civilization. In Iraq and Syria museums, libraries and ancient site, which should be protected in armed conflict , are being deliberately destroyed, looted by the barbaric and murderous terrorist organisation called ISIS who makes profit from illicit trafficking of cultural property.

This region where writing was invented and used to record the history for the first time, is now in the 21st century a land where civilization and culture are deliberately being annihilated. The process of development seems to be reversed and our age will most probably be remembered as the “Years of Shame” in the future.

As the Archaeologists Association we condemn this carnage which is the deliberate destruction of the heritage of the whole of humanity and call on the United Nations (UN) to stop this tragedy. We demand this international group of murderers to be declared as war criminals and to be tried for their crimes against humanity. Furthermore, we want their associates and those who enabled and condoned their actions to be disclosed and to be tried, as well.

We, the Archaeologists Association invite all States to follow, particularly the 17th paragraph of the Resolution 2199, dated 10 February 2015, which was adopted by the UN Security Council to urge States to take all necessary measures in order to stop the pillage of World’s Common Cultural Heritage.

We are pleased to have received the Statement of Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on 6 March 2015 appealing to all archaeologists and art historians to fight this “criminal chaos that destroys culture with more culture”.

Dear Ms. Bokova, we the archaeologists of Iraq’s and Syria’s neighbour, Turkey, are ready for any cooperation to protect humanity’s cultural heritage and to share and explain its importance to future generations. The Turkish Archaeologists Association as a non-governmental organization is open to any kind of proposal and we stand ready to join our voices to yours by our actions.

We also would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our colleagues in Iraq and Syria who risk their lives every day to protect the cultural heritage.

Respectfully,

On behalf of the Archaeologists Association Board of Directors,
Dr. Soner ATEŞOĞULLARI

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