Armenian Catholic church in Turkey for sale
In the Turkish city of Bursa, an unknown individual has put up for sale a historic Armenian Catholic Church and is asking $800,000 for the building.
This is not the first time the church has been put on the market.
The Armenian Catholic Church is located in the Setbashi district of Bursa. The building was transferred to the Armenian Catholics in 1831. Since 1923 the church building has been used as a tobacco warehouse. It is currently in an abandoned state.
The ad says the 190-year-old building for sale says it could be used as a cultural center, museum or hotel.
Following the decline of the local Armenian population in Bursa, the church was turned into a tobacco warehouse in the early 20s..
The territory on which the church is located is considered a historical heritage and is protected by UNESCO.
The first attempt to sell the Armenian Catholic Church in Bursa was made in 2016, according to Agos, a publication owned by the Armenian community in Turkey. Five years ago, the price was equivalent to $1.5 million.
At that time, the building could not be sold, although “one or two buyers” did show an interest in it, the newspaper notes.
The owners of the church building are descendants of the famous tobacco seller Salih Kirajybashi, the first president of the football club Bursaspor.
The owners of the building tried to sell the church to the Protestant community of Bursa for $1 million dollars, but the deal also failed.
Agos writes that the building was originally not built for a church. In 1831, the Armenian Catholics renovated an abandoned building, which became their church. At the beginning of the 20th century, a large Armenian community lived in this area of the city of Bursa, the source adds.
Social media reacts in Turkey
Many Turkish social media users have reacted with outcry and disappointment:
“It is written: ‘Located close to the center.’ They would also write: ‘Close to the bus stop.’ What kind of attitude is this to a historical buildings? “
“This cannot be allowed. Historical buildings, especially those used for religions, cannot be sold by private individuals. The state must intervene in this matter. If there are interests of a private person, they should be compensated for the losses, and such buildings should be protected.”
“I can imagine the reaction in the country if a mosque building was put up for sale somewhere. That would be history.“