The Armenian church of Turkish city Izmir is now used as a stable. Moreover, the local residents, who bring their horses and cows here, complained about the drug addicts and drunkards who have turned the construction into a den.
Turkish newspaper Milliyet reports that the Armenian Gregorian church is located in the Menemen district of Izmir. It is supposed to be a 19th century building, although no record of that has been preserved. The church is now in a miserable state and is filled with manure and other contamination.
The locals complain that the area has become a place for dangerous drug addicts and drunkards. It is under supervision of the police, the children cannot play there quietly, as strangers walk around the church.
One of the inhabitants of the district, Nurten Yelmaz, said that this is an Armenian historical church. “Unfortunately, Turkey does not give much significance to historical buildings. One should stand up for spiritual values, regardless of one’s religion. There are very few building like this remained. This historical building has become a stable now. We must stand up for these places”.
The building served as a church until 1922. When the Turkish army entered Izmir, burned it and massacred the Greek and Armenian population, the church was abandoned. Until recently it was used as a military warehouse, but now it is empty. Three years ago with Menemen municipality initiative the local Greek Church Agios Konstantinos was renovated which is also a 19th century structure. At that time they promised that the Armenian Church will be repaired too, but no work has been done until now.
Izmir (Turkish: İzmir, Greek: Σμύρνη, old name: Smyrna) is a city in the West of Turkey, the capital of the state of the same name. It is the second largest city in Turkey with a population of (2009 census). The city is situated on Aegeyan sea, in front of the Izmir Gulf. It is the second most important port after Istanbul. and is linked to other major cities of the country through railway.