Researchers Show Destruction of Christian Heritage in Turkey

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(Hayernaysor) – Within the scope of the Anatolian Cultural Heritage Project, the Hrant Dink Foundation has listed the churches, synagogues, monasteries, schools, hospitals, and cemeteries built by Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Jews in Turkey. Based on the results of the activities carried out over the past two-and-a-half years, the Foundation has listed 10,000 structures, of which 4,600 are Armenian, 4,100 are Greek, 650 are Assyrian, and 300 are Jewish. The Foundation has made an interactive map including all these structures. According to ermenihaber.am, the map is available here.

The list was prepared by researchers Vahagn Keshishian, Nora and Zakaria Mildanoglu, Norayr Olgar, Mustafa Batman, Ezgi Deniz Berk, Merve Kurt, Tuna Bashibkek, and others.

In addition to the structures that have remained standing, the researchers have also prepared a list of structures that have been ruined, destroyed, aren’t being preserved, are used as a reserve or barn, or have turned into mosques. The Ministry for European Union Affairs of Turkey, the Open Society Foundation, and the Chrest Foundation have supported the project.

The participants of the project provided Turkey’s Armenian Agos Weekly with details.

They mentioned that this is a unique effort since there hadn’t been such a comprehensive study on Christian structures in Turkey to this day.

The authors mentioned that they widely used church registries and all the sources that were somehow related to the structures. They also had a chance to study the Ottoman archives under the subordination of the Turkish government.

The authors mentioned that the greatest difficulty for them was reading the names of residences of Turkey that were given new names during the republican era.

The participants of the initiative informed that the project would continue since they plan on visiting different regions of Turkey in the second stage and check all the inspected structures from time to time.

In addition to the map of Christian heritage sites destroyed in Turkey created by the Hrant Dink Foundation, the Armenian Assembly of America also compiled a list and map of the Christian sites destroyed in Iraq and Syria.

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About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
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