The lost gravestone of Garabet Balyan, the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, and a member of the Balyan family praised by Turkish President Erdogan as ‘competent masters’ of their art, was discovered at an Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality construction site in Kartal, Agos reports.
On 6 June 2014, at the opening of the renovated Ortaköy Mosque, Erdogan made a speech in which he praised Nigogos Balyan, the architect of the mosque, and a member of the Balyan family, with the words, “It was an Armenian architect who created this work of art. Our forefathers displayed a different mentality in selecting him, and they gave the job to a competent master.”
The lost gravestone of Garabet Balyan, the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, among the symbolic monuments of Istanbul, was discovered at an Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality construction site in Kartal.
It is well known that many significant 19th century buildings in Istanbul are the work of architects from the Balyan family. Garabet Balyan was the architect of historically significant buildings such as the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Gümüşsuyu Military Hospital and the Dolmabahçe Valide Sultan Mosque.
The gravestone was found in the area between the buildings on the construction site used for many years by the IBB after they were demolished. Other gravestones and epitaphs featuring Armenian script were also discovered in addition to Balyan’s gravestone.