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500-year-old Armenian monastery in Van ruined because of neglect and treasure hunters

HDP MP Garo Paylan has submitted a parliamentary question regarding the situation of the Surp Marinos Monastery.

Surp Marinos Armenian Monastery in Van has been ruined because of neglect and treasure hunt, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Garo Paylan has said at the parliament, Bianet reports.

“This monastery, which has been known since the 16th century, has hosted up to 300 nuns at the time and was one of the leading educational centers in the region,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the building, which is also important in terms of architecture, is now in the phase of complete destruction, with years of neglect and vandalism of treasure hunters,” Paylan added.

“The historical and cultural structures in Van and its surroundings are destroyed because of treasury hunting and the indifference of the administration,” he continued,

Paylan asked the following questions to Minister of Tourism and Culture Mehmet Nuri Ersoy:

  • Are the person or persons who excavated to find treasures in Surp Marinos Monastery and its vicinity identified and have legal proceedings been initiated about them?
  • Why are the Surp Marinos Monastery and historical buildings belonging to Christians within the borders of Van province not protected by your ministry?
  • Will you work to restore the Surp Marinos Monastery?
  • Has an inventory of monasteries, churches and cultural structures built by Armenians in Van been prepared?
  • The elimination of cultural traces of Armenians has been carried out as a state policy until today. Are you planning to show that this policy has changed?
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