Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

Armenian Church “Surb Gevorg” (“St. George”) is in danger.


”Europa Nostra” – the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage that includes nearly 250 different NGOs and works in 45 European countries started its activities about 50 years ago. They are in constant search for cultural monuments which are in danger, among them an Armenian Church in Turkey “Surb Gevorg”. This building hasn’t been used as a Church since 1915. This is the oldest religious place in the city of Mardin with its oldest building that dates back to 5th century. During the construction works in 1882 Bishop Ovakim Tazbazyan discovered inscription dated 420 year A.C. Patriarchate of Constantinople said that before 19th century this Church had a name “Surb Grigor Lusavorich” (St. George the Illuminator) but later was known as Armenian Catholic Church “Surb Gevorg”. The Church was used as orphanage after 1915 and then transferred to weaponry storage. There is information that It used to have a library that got burned during this time.

Professor Nuran Zeren Gulersoy of “Europe Nostra Turkey” said that this building used to be known as “Red Church”. “Project to save this Church had been approved however there is a need of financial support to complete restoration work”– says Nuran.

Unfortunately “tomorrow never comes” professor Nuran said at the summit in Paris with hope to engage his colleagues to work with “Europe Nostra” on this issue.

He continued: “We really hope that “Europe Nostra” will help us to rescue our Church “St. George” (Gevorg) in Mardin.  Let’s cooperate with “Europe Nostra” and European Investment Bank to rescue our cultural heritage, showing our respect to the city of Mardin and its surroundings”.

Isn’t it funny? Certainly, if there was remake of cartoon Mowgli, Nuran would become a famous character there. Who are you trying to trick with that angelic smile on your face telling Europeans that you are going to rebuild the Church?!

Mass Media of Turkey informed that restoration works require 6 million Liras. “Surb Gevorg” Foundation of Mardin city that owns the Church haven’t got enough money and never received any financial support neither from Turkish Ministry of Culture nor from the Central Directorate for Foundations’ in Turkey. The Church is on the Europe’s cultural heritage list amongst other 7 objects which are also in danger of being destroyed.



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