Taşhoron Church in ruins as Turkish government abandoned restoration project

The historical Taşhoron (Surp Yerrortutyun) Church in the neighbourhood of Malatya where murdered Armenian journalist Hrant Dink spent his childhood was left to its fate in 2012 as restoration works were not completed

GR • 7/6/2019 • Global Rights • 168 Viste

The historical Taşhoron (Surp Yerrortutyun) Church in the neighbourhood of Malatya where murdered Armenian journalist Hrant Dink spent his childhood was left to its fate in 2012 as  restoration works were not completed.

The church is estimated to have been built in Malatya in the second half of the 18th century. The Taşhoran Church in the neighbourhood of Çavuşoğlu, populated by many Armenians at the time remained half restored in 202.

The restoration work that was started 5 years ago by Malatya Metropolitan Municipality, General Directorate of Foundations and General Directorate of National Real Estate, but was abandoned half-way leaving the church in ruins. Scaffolds erected in the historical building were abandoned. When the inscription of the church, also known as Taş Horan, was erased by time, an important piece of information – when and by whom it was made – was lost.

Many Armenian families lived in this area until the 1970s. But many were forced to leave after the 1980 military coup. Years ago, the church’s dome collapsed due to neglect. When in 2012 news of the restoration work spread, residents were delighted.

However soon it was clear that work would not continue. The scaffolders were abandoned, the walls of the church had been partially cleaned, but according to local residents the firm left as it could not pay the workers.

The church became then target of treasure hunters. And later on became refuge for people with drug problems and is now in danger of collapsing.

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