Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan studied the current conditions of churches and monasteries in Van province which are facing a danger of elimination because of destruction, Arti Gercek reports.
Garo Paylan studies condition of Armenian churches, monasteries that are under danger of destruction in Van province
STEPANAKERT, SEPTEMBER 3, ARTSAKHPRESS-ARMENPRESS: At first, Paylan visited Varagavank monastery. The monastery has suffered great damages and if not restored it may collapse in several years.
“Why is Varagavank, one of the key structures of the province, not being restored? Because we see the following response from the ministry of culture and tourism to the application sent for the restoration of the monastery: “It is a private property. We can’t take steps”. It turned out that the monastery’s ownership certificate belongs to journalist Fatih Altayli”, Garo Paylan said.
He reminded that Varagavank has a history of 1200 years and has 7 churches. He called on Fatih Altayli to refuse from the ownership right in order for the monastery not to be collapsed.
“This is a very important religious complex where thousands of clergymen could be prepared. This monastery is in an isolated condition. If Mr. Fatih Altayli transfers this place to the Armenian Patriarchate or the culture ministry as soon as possible, that site will be restored”, he said.
He reminded that 100 years ago every 5th of the people living in that region and 2 out of 3 living in Van were Armenians.
“The Armenian people have created a very serious civilization. They have thousands of cultural values, monasteries, churches, schools and hospitals. Unfortunately, these cultural values have been destroyed by a planned policy after the massacres of the Armenian people. Under the conditions of the vandalism organized by the state, few traces of these thousand-year-old cultural values remained”, Paylan said, adding that if an interference is not made for saving these monuments, nothing will remain from what has been maintained as well.
Garo Paylan said that he will deal with this issue after returning to Ankara.