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Forum LockedAnkara restores Armenian church

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    Posted: 29-Mar-2007 at 19:06
Ankara restores Armenian church
Akdamar%20church,%20Lake%20Van,%20Turkey
The church had long been neglected
Turkey has renovated a 1,100-year-old church in the east of the country, in what is seen as a gesture to improve ties with neighbouring Armenia.

The ceremony on Akdamar island on Lake Van was attended by senior Armenian officials, despite the two countries' lack of diplomatic ties.

The mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 left profound scars and bitterness.

About 70,000 Armenians live in Turkey today. The church will now be a museum.

Plea for worship

Patriarch Mesrob II, spiritual leader of Turkey's tiny Armenian Orthodox community, told several hundred people at the ceremony that the government should open up the restored church for worship at least once a year.

Relief%20carvings%20of%20biblical%20saints%20and%20scenes%20on%20Akdamar%20church
The church has fine carvings of saints on its facade

He said the move would help reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

"If our government approves, it will contribute to peace between two communities who have not been able to come together for years," he said.

Turkish Culture Minister Attila Koc said Ankara would consider the request.

But the head of Armenia's Apostolic Church, Garegin II, declined Ankara's invitation to attend the ceremony because the church will no longer function as a place of worship.

So far Turkey has ignored calls to place a cross on the conical roof.

Future projects

The Church of Surp Khach - or Holy Cross - is one of the finest surviving monuments of Armenian culture in the region. Its location is called Akhtamar in Armenian.

Turkey/Van%20map

It had long been left empty and neglected, its intricate wall carvings depicting biblical scenes crumbling.

The Turkish government spent $1.5m (763,000) on its restoration, which took 18 months to complete.

The 20-strong Armenian delegation of architects, engineers and archaeologists attending the ceremony was headed by Deputy Culture Minister Gagik Gyurjyan.

Mr Gyurjyan said they were not in Turkey just to witness the renovation of the church, which was built between 915-921.

"We think we can discuss new projects regarding the future," he said, according to Turkey's Anatolia news agency.

"Our experts can co-operate in many areas including archaeology, architecture and industry."

Border closed

But relations between the two countries remain tense.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in the 1990s to support Azerbaijan in its dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. To get to Akdamar, Armenian officials had to travel via Istanbul or Georgia.

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I, either through systematic massacres or through starvation.

More than a dozen countries, various international bodies and many Western historians agree that it was genocide.

Turkey says there was no genocide. It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says the figure was below one million.

Police reportedly detained five trade unionists who staged a demonstration on a jetty on Lake Van to protest against the church's restoration.

The protesters carried Turkish flags, pictures of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and a banner reading: "The Turkish people are noble. They would never commit genocide", Anatolia news agency said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6505927.stm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Giannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 04:12
That's great news! But, I don't think that this church was neglected, it hasn't passed a long time that I've read a turkish article about this church and the island of Akdamar, on an old text book.
There is also an interesting myth about a girl named Tamara, who was the ministers daughter and a peasant boy, I don't remember the whole myth well, but  I remember that this love story didn't have a nice ending.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erkut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 05:12
Well its not a churc anymore(They didnt even put the Cross and the bell). İts a museum now. Patriarch IIMesrob Mutafian asked to government if they would open up the church for worship at least once a year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 06:08
Originally posted by Giannis Giannis wrote:

There is also an interesting myth about a girl named Tamara, who was the ministers daughter and a peasant boy, I don't remember the whole myth well, but  I remember that this love story didn't have a nice ending


     You're right Giannis.... I forgot the story about her..... it had something to do with her being on the island, and her lover who was trying to swim to the island. He ended up drowning and as he gasped for air he yelled "Akh, Tamar!" (Oh, Tamar!), which is why its called Akhtamar island.

Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 30-Mar-2007 at 06:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Giannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 06:15
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Originally posted by Giannis Giannis wrote:

There is also an interesting myth about a girl named Tamara, who was the ministers daughter and a peasant boy, I don't remember the whole myth well, but  I remember that this love story didn't have a nice ending


     You're right Giannis.... I forgot the story about her..... it had something to do with her being on the island, and her lover who was trying to swim to the island. He ended up drowning and as he gasped for air he yelled "Akh, Tamar!" (Oh, Tamar!), which is why its called Akhtamar island.
 
Yes!!! That's right (Ah, Tamara), it was stuck in my mind that there was a connection between the girls name and the island's name, but I couldn't remember it. Thanks, pal! I'll try to find where did I put that article and I'll post it as soon as possible.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 13:47
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Originally posted by Giannis

There is also an interesting myth about a girl named Tamara, who was the ministers daughter and a peasant boy, I don't remember the whole myth well, but  I remember that this love story didn't have a nice ending

     You're right Giannis.... I forgot the story about her..... it had something to do with her being on the island, and her lover who was trying to swim to the island. He ended up drowning and as he gasped for air he yelled "Akh, Tamar!" (Oh, Tamar!), which is why its called Akhtamar island.


You are right. There was a romance between a boy on the shore and a girl (Tamar) on the island, whose families were in a feud. Every night the girl would hold a candle on the island shore (somewhat large) to guide her lover, who would swim towards the island each night.

The relatives of the girl find out, and on a night when she is supposed to meet her friend, they find her on the shore, and put out the candle light. The boy who is already half way through loses his way in the darkness.

His lasting words are "Tamar, Akh Tamar" which would roughly translate into "Tamar, Oh Tamar" - hence the name of the island is "Akhtamar" (Akh-Tamar).


Edited by mamikon - 30-Mar-2007 at 13:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2007 at 14:19
Вид%20озера%20и%20острова%20
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Колокольня
 
Фрески
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 11:34
Thats a really beautiful Church, I hope they do get to have services there again so that they could actually live the History of the Church and not just look at it like a acient relic.
Also whats this about?
Quote The protesters carried Turkish flags, pictures of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and a banner reading: "The Turkish people are noble. They would never commit genocide", Anatolia news agency said.
They have a celebration for a Ancient Church and these people come to protest it? What did this have to do with a genocide, is that a guilty conscience I'm sensing here?
I think Noble people admit their mistakes of the past, but thats just me. Sorry, but uncalled for actions like that are never something that can bring a smile to my face. They couldn't let it just open without a problem?
 
Anyways, the architecture is beautiful. Really amazing that was built way back then. The place it is in is beautiful too, and the artwork is pretty amazing. Old buildings seem to have alot of special features to them that you don't really seem to find today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 14:00
These people are nationalists.Sth frequent in the Balkans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote traveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 16:23
Gentlemen let's not deceive ourselves, let's not deceive those who do not know.
Please google and see what Armenians did in 1992 in Azerbaijan. If you can ever watch the photos for 5 minutes, then accept the false accusations about turks.
Ottomans did not oblige any nation to learn their language, to convert to their religion.Even in countries where they ruled over 300 years, you cannot find anybody who speak Turkish.
Did you know that Armenians were called as the "loyal people" then? But they were the first who daggered Ottomans from its back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erkut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 16:29
Originally posted by traveler traveler wrote:

Did you know that Armenians were called as the "loyal people" then? But they were the first who daggered Ottomans from its back.
 
Not the first actually.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote traveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 16:53

   In Turkey for more than 1000 years, people of different ethnic origins, different religious beliefs have lived together in peace.Please go and see really how people live in the cities where muslims,christians and jews live together.Churches,mosques and synagogues close to each other. And people do not have any anmosity...
But unfortunately some a very few pawns remind me the famous saying that goes as
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People of Anatolia have never persecuted any minority.Those who refrain from studying the archives together should be ashamed. :)))
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 17:53
Well sorry I brought those protestors up, this thread is now on the fast track to being closed. I foresee it in the future!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2007 at 17:55
     They made it forbidden to pray in the church and turned it into a museum for tourist attraction. Who were they restoring this church for again? Disapprove Eh, at least they restored it.

     The pictures are too big to post, so here's a gallery which highlights the interior of the church and its carvings and frescoes. The exterior carvings are all stories from the Bible. Check it out:

http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/akdamar
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2007 at 16:22
It's a beautiful piece of architecture, it should be opened for prayer though not just a museum in my own opinon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2007 at 17:09
I read in Turkish Daily News that Armenia will repair a Turkish mosque in Armenian territory
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2007 at 19:47
Originally posted by traveler traveler wrote:

Gentlemen let's not deceive ourselves, let's not deceive those who do not know.
Please google and see what Armenians did in 1992 in Azerbaijan. If you can ever watch the photos for 5 minutes, then accept the false accusations about turks.
Ottomans did not oblige any nation to learn their language, to convert to their religion.Even in countries where they ruled over 300 years, you cannot find anybody who speak Turkish.
Did you know that Armenians were called as the "loyal people" then? But they were the first who daggered Ottomans from its back.


The Ottoman State was generally  tolerant, that is correct. It is a matter of personal perspective whether  the modern nationalistic Kemalist Turkey has displayed the same tolerance (and in my oppinion it hasn't).


Edited by konstantinius - 07-Apr-2007 at 19:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2007 at 19:51
Originally posted by traveler traveler wrote:


   In Turkey for more than 1000 years, people of different ethnic origins, different religious beliefs have lived together in peace.Please go and see really how people live in the cities where muslims,christians and jews live together.Churches,mosques and synagogues close to each other. And people do not have any anmosity...
But unfortunately some a very few pawns remind me the famous saying that goes as
            BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS...
People of Anatolia have never persecuted any minority.Those who refrain from studying the archives together should be ashamed. :)))


Again you're refering to PRE-MODERN times (i.e pre-kemalist Turkey) and I generally agree with you on that. 
And who are the "people of Anatolia"? Many peoples have gone through Anatolia over the centuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote karajoz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2007 at 02:27

ah.. if you asking  we should destroy it!

rebuild a church..in turkey...why?
 
we could use the money in better ways (no offense to armenian people) but, I would use the stones of the church as a wall between  turkey and armenia!
thats yours,thats mine.dividet by ruins of the past...this,when those liars still call us murderer.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortaza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2007 at 02:55

Better way? Hmm I think not. It looks like a lot tourist interest with this building.

restoring one of our building have no relation with ROA-Turkey politics.

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