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  • Writer's pictureRengin Güven

The sad solitude of cultural heritage

In Bitlis Yalnızçamlar Village, the residents of the village use the historical church in the village as a hayloft, and many tombstones around the church stand out as proof that the historical building is not just a church.

With the silence of the authorities, the historical church in the village is in danger of extinction.

Before the deportation, the Bitlis region was one of the settlements where Armenians lived intensely. The presence of many historical artifacts in the region is proof of this.

With the displacement of Armenians, this church is in danger of disappearing, like many other churches in the region.

Although there are many inscriptions and reliefs around the church, we could not find reliable information about its history. According to some previous reports on the subject, this church was built by the Armenian families of Pagej and Doran.

Different names were given to the church over the years, its name was changed from Tsivar in Armenian in 1902 to Suvar in 1928 during the Republican period. Although questions such as whether there was an Armenian presence in the region at that time or whether the church was open for worship were not answered, today it is known as Yalnızçamlar Sıwar Church.

Cross symbols and Armenian inscriptions on the walls of the church have survived to the present day without being destroyed. The back walls of the church, which is now used as a barn by the villagers, have been partially demolished.

Another church used as a haystack is the St. Church in Değirmenaltı Village of Bitlis, which is stated to be 1500 years old Anania Church.

Around this church, there are monuments with inscriptions 4-5 meters long.

According to the villagers, there were four more Armenian churches in Bitlis Yalnızçamlar and Başhan villages, but even no remains of these churches have survived to the present day.

If the insensitivity of the authorities to the issue continues, the fate of these two churches will be like the other four churches.

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