According to Bianet, Turkish parliamentarian of Armenian descent Garo Paylan raised the issue of the situation of Surb Marinos Monastery. According to Paylan, the Armenian monastery of Surb Marinos in Van became ruins due to the lack of care and treasure hunters.
“This monastery has been known since the 16th century. At that time, it housed up to 300 nuns and was one of the leading educational centers in the region,” Paylan said.
“Unfortunately, the building, which is also important from an architectural point of view, is now in a phase of complete collapse, with years of oblivion and vandalism of treasure hunters. The historic and cultural structures in and around Van are being destroyed by treasure hunters and the indifference of the administration,” he continued.
Paylan then asked the following questions to the Minister of Tourism and Culture Mehmet Nuri Ersoy:
- “Have those who had carried out excavations to find the treasures at Surb Marinos Monastery and its environs been identified, and have legal proceedings been instituted against them?”
- “Why is your ministry not defending Surb Marinos Monastery and historic buildings owned by Christians within the borders of Van Province?”
- “Will you work on rebuilding the Surb Marinos Monastery?”
- “Is the inventory of monasteries, churches, and cultural facilities built by the Armenians in Van ready?”
- “The elimination of cultural traces of Armenians until today has been carried out as state policy. Are you planning to demonstrate that this policy has changed?”