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Turkey: Treasure hunters destroy historic church


Turkish treasure hunters have destroyed the historic 19th century Antyeri Camii Orthodox Church located near Samsun.


Photos show portions of the floor removed and gaping holes in the walls, as well as other types of damage. There is an unconfirmed rumour that the authorities may now restore the church as a tourist attraction.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the church was converted into a mosque, but since 1990, it lay abandoned because many mosques have been built in the neighbourhood. Sadly, this is not the first time that treasure hunters have plundered this church.

Treasure hunting is a common pursuit in Turkey. They target areas known to have once housed large populations of Christians, thanks to a cultural belief that Christians are wealthy. Today, these areas are largely empty of Christians because of the Turkish genocide and subsequently the forced population exchange with Greece.

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