Orthodox Church in Turkish village destroyed by treasure hunters

May 26, 2020. Orthodox Christians in Turkey are concerned that the church in the village of Yeşildere has greatly suffered at the hands of looters over the past years.

Treasure hunters have stripped graves, excavated the building structure, and destroyed the garden. Villagers have appealed to authorities to designate the church a tourist site in order to preserve it, reports Persecution.org.

The matter was also reported to the Turkish Parliament by Armenian MP Garo Paylan, reports Romfea.

The village once had a strong Greek Orthodox presence before the Turkish genocide against ethnic Christians, which Turkey has never acknowledged or apologized for.

The church’s ancient frescoes have also been destroyed in recent years. “The church has managed to stand the test of time, but in recent years the frescoes that adorn the walls of the church have been literally destroyed. The tombs around the church have been looted by treasure hunters. The devastation, which the residents are reacting to, does not honor the country’s historical or cultural heritage,” the MP said.