Günay says Mor Kiryakus Monastery to undergo renovation

June 04, 2012, Monday/ 17:10:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay has announced that Mor Kiryakus Monastery, which is currently used as a barn, will be renovated.

In response to a written question raised by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy from Batman, Ayla Akat Ata, on the renovation of Mor Kiryakus Monastery, Günay stated that the monastery, located in Ayrancı village in Batman’s Beşiri district, has been taken under protection by the Board for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets.

Noting that the board is only authorized to conduct renovations on historic buildings that belong to or are used by the ministry, Günay said: “Mor Kiryakus Monastery does not belong to the ministry. Under the framework of the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage Law, the Batman Governor’s Office is primarily responsible for the renovation of the monastery.”

He also added that after a decision by the Diyarbakır Association for Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets made in May, the Batman Museum Directorate completed preliminary works and will submit a report on the current state of the monastery. The board will subsequently determine a plan for renovations.

Mor Kiryakus Monastery, which has great significance in early Syriac Christianity and dates back to the fourth century, was established by missionary monks from Aleppo. The three-story monastery sits on 2,500 square meters of land. The monastery served as a seminary for priests in training and was linked to Mor Hananyo (Deyr-ül zafaran) Monastery in Mardin. After the Arameans left the village in the early years of the republic, villagers started to use the monastery as a barn.

Günay: Ministry allocated TL 743,000 to Tius excavations

Meanwhile, Günay has also stated that TL 743,000 was allocated to excavations that are being conducted in the ancient city of Tius, located in the village of Filyos in Zonguldak’s Çaycuma district.

Responding to a written parliamentary question from Republican People’s Party (CHP) Zonguldak deputy Ali İhsan Köktürk, Günay stated on May 24 that the ministry allocated TL 743,000 to the excavations being carried out by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Karabük University in the ancient city of Tius. Emphasizing that the ministry will continue with the excavation, conservation and restoration work in the ancient city of Tius, Günay also pointed out that within the framework of the Activity Plan for Turkey’s Tourism Strategy the region is also earmarked for eco-tourism support.

The ancient city of Tius, which dates back to 7 B.C., is located on the southern coast of the Black Sea and was established by people from Miletus as a colony. The ruins of ancient Tius include remains of ramparts and sculptures. According to Strabo, a Greek geographer, philosopher and historian, the town is the birthplace of Philetaerus, ruler of the ancient Greek city of Pergamon.

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