Van (Nor Marmara, Jamanak, Agos, other sources) – The Doğan Turkish News Agency reports that a great number of Van residents are demanding from local and central governmental authorities the restoration of the Surp Kevork Church on Lim Island, the largest island in Lake Van. They indicated that the restoration of the church will increase local tourism. The people of Van are convinced that Lim Island is very important from a tourism standpoint and that the half-ruined churches should be rebuilt at the earliest opportunity.
The Doğan News Agency noted that in an official bulletin last year, President Erdogan’s decision was published according to which three of the four largest islands in Lake Van, including Lim, were included within a restricted nature preserve.
According to tradition, the Lim Monastery was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator in the 4th century. By the beginning of the 14th century, Surp Asdvadzadzin, Surp Garabed, and Surp Kevork churches were located there. The Turkish news agency wrote that the building of Surp Kevork at Lim began in the 11th century and was completed in 1305. In the year 1766 the “jamadoon,” chapel, and parish house were added.
The monastic brotherhood lasted until 1918, and much later it was subjected to destruction by treasure-hunters. The Turkish source also indicates that the residents of the Yaylikaya neighborhood, on the shore near Lim Island, are demanding the restoration of the monastic brotherhood’s residence.
Armenian sources indicate the monastery was built before 884.
In other regional news, the yearly badarak on the feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross will be celebrated by Patriarch Mashalian at Holy Cross church at Aghtamar, with clergy only.