Church restoration raises hopes for Turkish-Armenian reconciliationBreaking News
The 2 million Turkish Lira ($1.5 million) restoration, ordered and paid for by the Turkish government, began in May and is raising hopes that a small, cautious thaw in relations between Turkey and neighboring Armenia could expand.
Eastern Turkey was once a heartland of Armenian culture and more than a million Armenians lived in the area at the turn of the 19th century. But they were driven out by what Armenia contends was a policy of genocide by Turks, a charge the Turkish government vehemently denies.
Akhtamar, called the Church of Surp Khach, or Holy Cross, was one of the most important churches of those ancient Armenian lands. It was built by Armenian King Gagik I of Vaspurakan and inaugurated in A.D. 921. Gagik's historian, Thomas Ardzruni, described the church as being near a harbor and a palace with gilded cupolas, peacefully surrounded by the lake. Only the church survived.
By 1113, the church had become the center of the Armenian Patriarchate of Akhtamar and an inspiration to mystics in the area. The island was the center of a renowned school of scribal art and illumination. The region was a thriving center of Armenian culture, but was engulfed in ethnic conflict as the Turks' Ottoman Empire splintered at the end of World War I.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Newly released interactive map shows images of destroyed monuments of Mosul
- How the Rise of the Post Office Explains American Innovation
- These Americans are reliving history and don’t mind repeating it
- Britain largest home is saved for the nation
- Shelter and the slums: capturing bleak Britain 50 years ago
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history