The Monastery's Destruction
The fate of Khtzkonk is one of the clearest and most disturbing examples of the Turkish state's genocide of this region's Armenian population being later extended to their cultural monuments.
The monastery remained in use until 1920, when the remaining Armenian population of the Kars region was expelled by the Turks. After this, the area became a restricted military zone that was closed to visitors (as late as 1984 a special permit was needed to travel to Digor). When the monastery was next visited by historians, in 1959, only one church, Saint Sargis, remained standing - and it was seriously damaged. It was reported that villagers at that time said the churches had been blown up by Turkish soldiers. The inhabitants of nearby Digor still (2002) say the same thing.
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