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Byzantine church ruins taken under protection in Turkey

The ruins of a Byzantine Greek church in the northwestern Turkish province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district have been registered and taken under protection.

Byzantine church ruins taken under protection in Turkey

The church, which dates back to 1,500 years ago and was discovered in 2011 during the construction of cooperation housing, was declared a 1st Degree Archaeological Site by the Bursa Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board with a decision published in the Official Gazette.

Edremit Mayor Kamil Saka said the Güre neighborhood, where the church ruins are located, had been a village of Edremit in the past, and its history went back to the early ages.

“In ancient ages, the village was named ‘Astrya’ and was famous for its spring waters. It was also home to a late Roman-era hot spring, known as the Bath of Aphrodite. We will revive this historic church along with other ancient Edremit artifacts,” said the mayor.

Local Hasan Demir, who said that along with the church ruins, which were found in the Doymus Tepe field in Güre, some 700 meters away from the Aphrodite hot springs, there was also an ancient-era hot spring but it could not be unearthed because the Culture Ministry did not appropriate the necessary funds.

He added that locals had asked officials to unearth the church before treasure hunters completely destroyed it.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [June 24, 2016]

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