Evaluation of Diyarbakir Armenian Churches in Lower Mesopotamia Region


ABSTRACT Diyarbakir is located in Asia, in Lower Mesopotamia, and in the Southeast Anatolia Region of Turkey. The Southeastern Anatolia Region is a region where prominent centers of early Christianity are located. The Ottomans managed the administration of the regions where the Armenian lived since the 14th and 15th centuries. However, the Armenians, who accepted the Christianity first, were allowed to act as a separate community despite some restrictions. The Armenians, as a widespread and settled community in Anatolia, lived in Diyarbakir by taking influential roles in urban population until the 20th century. This study aims to carry into future the 4 churches belonging to Armenians living in Diyarbakır until the beginning of the 20th century by evaluating the churches in terms of history, plan and facade layouts, decoration items, usage and structural conditions and the study proposes to protect these assets. The consciousness created by the preservation of historical buildings and the survival of cultures in the city at the 2000s has created a positive social force for the restoration of the churches. With the restoration, the Armenians, who lived for centuries but migrated from the city, were able to carry their culture to the new generations and they visited the city as well as the buildings. Hence, the restoration of the architectural product has led to the reestablishment of the cultural bonds. This study has been compiled and updated from the second author's thesis titled "Protection and Usage Conditions of Armenian Churches Located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey", which the second author completed in the consultancy of the first author.