Sourp Magar – Northern Cyprus Heritage (1)

sourp magar Sourp Magar – Armenian monastery

Who is responsible for the heritage of buildings like churches and monasteries in Northern Cyprus? It is not that there is no money to preserve these monuments. Recent times have shown the construction of a number of new monuments showing the greatness of the Turkish state, celebrating the so-called freedom and peace operation of 1974 or setting Atatürk as a symbol for the Turkish Cypriots.

However, churches and monasteries are left in a very poor state, falling in decline and subject to vandalism and the expression of frustrations. The coming days I will show some examples.

This blogs shows you the Sourp Magar monastery, started as a Coptic monastery in the 11th century and in the 15th century taken over by the Armenians, see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourp_Magar . It was an important pilgrimage destination until 1974 (when the Turks took hold of Northern Cyprus). Now the monastery is in serious decline and needs immediate restauration if any of the beautiful parts are to be preserved for future generations.

sourp magar   sourp magar   sourp magar

It is such a pity that no responsability is felt for heritage within Turkish Cypriot borders. There is money here, and even a lot more than 10 years ago, that is visible everywhere.
However, monuments from Christian traditions are left to fall apart; the picture of the destroyed cross above this blog, taken in the Armenian Chapel is meaningful for the underlying feeling: that the fight is not just about human rights but also religious.

You may also like to read other blogs with an Armenian component:
Apostolos Andreas Monastery – Northern Cyprus heritage (21)
Minorities in Gaziantep
Gaziantep castle: panorama and nationalism

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