Zeiss Seeing Beyond 2016


Today's stories in silent witness of the past

Christian communities who contributed to the Anatolian culture in the past constituting major part of the population of Anatolia is a minority today. Today, the proportion of the total population is 2 of a thousand  The majority of these people have migrated to Istanbul into different European countries and the rest of the surviving small number of religious ceremonies in churches continue and colorful rituals are revived that we will never see from outside.

Some churches surviving in Anatolia are opened by the congregation coming from Istanbul and some rituals are held as symbolic.Reopening after restoration of St.Gregory Armenian Church in Kayseri on 2009 and St. Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir on 2012 are the finest examples. Armenian population of Kayseri in 2009 was only 1 person. Last Armenian living in Diyarbakır died at the beginning of 2016. These structures are important witnesses of the past are now living as symbolic.

Today, Christians living in Istanbul, Antakya and Mardin are continuing their religious  ceremonies regularly. Syriac church in Adıyaman is the only church in the region and collects all Christians for their religious needs and ceremonies. In the Syriac villages of Sirnak rural areas religious ceremonies continue regularly in the historic village churches. Christians living scattered in Anatolia without a church are going to other cities for important ceremonies and their children baptized there.

This study is their story. It was carried out between the years 2006 and 2015.




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