Edip Tekin - Tarık Arslan / Bursa, July 10 () - The 700-year-old arched church in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Mudanya district has been put on sale on the Internet for $1 million, news website T24 has reported.
The Internet advert on a real estate website said the church’s relief and restitution were approved by the Bursa Council of Monuments. The 13th century church is filed under the top category “building more than 31 years old.”
The real estate agent who placed the ad, Nusret Akyüz, responded angrily to phone calls inquiring about the church.
“We are selling it. We cannot provide information about the owner of the estate. The details are in the ad. Do not make me repeat the same things. You are the 50th person who has called me since yesterday” said Akyüz.
A document written by a Dr. J. Covel in 1676 states that the church was dedicated to Panagia Pantobasillissa (The Queen of All - Virgin Mary). The church’s dome and bell tower collapsed during an earthquake in 1855 and was restored in 1883.
After Greeks who had lived in the area for centuries emigrated to Trilye in the 20th century in the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the church passed to private ownership.
This is not the first time news of the sale of historic sites and churches in Turkey has hit headlines.
Previously, an 18th century Greek church in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri’s Melikgazi district was put onto the market via the Internet in a similar way.
In March, a family living in the Cappadocia region of the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir’s Derinkuyu district put their house on sale, along with a church and underground passage under the house, for 900,000 Turkish Liras.