December 29, 2020 - 14:10 AMT
Turkey turning Armenian church into "cultural center"

Turkey is turning Surp Yerrortutyun (Holy Trinity) Armenian Church in Konya's Akşehir district into "a cultural center", according to a report from Agos.

A neo-classical building, the church is known as one of the largest Armenian churches in Turkey. It is registered as a historical monument and will be as the 'World Humor Masters Art House'.

The total cost of the restoration of the building, which has been closed to worship and tourism until now, has amounted to approximately 3.5 million TL (a little less that half a million dollars). It is not yet clear when the official opening of the church in its new capacity will take place.

According to information provided by Raymond Kévorkian in his book "Armenians in the Ottoman Empire on the Eve of 1915", 4,950 Armenians lived in Akşehir before 1915, the year the Armenian Genocide started. In addition to the Surp Yerrortutyun Church built in 1859, there were four other Armenian educational institutions in the district. Among them, the Surp Stepanos School was famous in all provinces for its superior education quality. Armenian craftsmen in the district were known for leather making, carpet weaving and hardware production.