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Treasure Hunters Ruin Historical Church in Samsun, Turkey

Church Turkey
The interior of the ruins of the church. Credit: samtab.gov.tr

A Greek church that dates back to the Byzantine era, located in the Ayaklıalan District of Samsun in Turkey was plundered recently by treasure hunters according to Hurriyet.

The Church of Samsun in Turkey

The Turkish site reports that the remains of the Christian church were plundered due to illegal excavations.

”The roof of the church, which was built with the masonry system and whose roof has not survived, has also been ruined due to excavations, and the frescoes on its walls have disappeared,” the Turkish newspaper reported.

Local residents are angry, as they have been asking for the restoration of the church for years. They believe that the monument is part of their city’s rich history and it could have attracted thousands of visitors from around the world.

”I struggled to restore the church, but it did not happen. All the authorities know the situation here, so we demand that the church be repaired,” Tahsin Ay, the head of the Ayaklıalan District, told Hurriet.

”A lot of visitors come to our village, especially in the summer months, and more people will come when this place is repaired. Greeks used to come here a lot at the time. In fact, four brothers in their 80s came to our village, talked about their past living here, showed the location of their house, and told us that they had a very good time,” the local official told the newspaper.

The city of Samsun

Samsun is a city on the north coast of Turkey, in the ancient region of Pontus, with a population of approximately 1.4 million people. It is the provincial capital of Samsun Province and a major Black Sea port.

The growing city has two universities, several hospitals, shopping malls, much light manufacturing industry, sports facilities, and an opera.

The present name of the city comes from its former Greek name of Amisós, by a reinterpretation of eís Amisón (meaning “to Amisós”) and ”unta,” which is a Greek suffix for toponyms. So, according to experts, the Greek expression ”[eí]s Am[p]s-únta” (meaning ”to Amisos”) gave birth to its current name, Samsun.

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