Churches In The Cappadocia Region During The Ottoman Period: Examples, Problems And Suggestions
Pekak, M. Sacit
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There were numerous churches and monasteries built during the Ottoman Period, in the region called Cappadocia, which holds the cities of Nevsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri in Central Anatolia. Most of these monuments had been built in the 18th and the 19th centuries, depending on the constitutional changes that took place in the administration of the Empire. Most of these religious monuments, which were completely abandoned following the 1923 Lausanne Treaty and the Agreement for Population Exchange, have almost been destroyed due to lack of preservation strategies. Even the inventory studies for most monuments have not been realized yet. Beginning from 1996, the author's field studies funded by TUBITAK and Hacettepe University with the permission of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, have focused mainly on the documentation and inventorization of these monuments. Three Churches and monasteries documented in and around Aksaray are three (excluding Guzelyurt inland town), in and around Nevsehir (excluding Mustafapap inland town), are approximately ten; in and around Nigde are approximately 30, in and around Kayseri are approximately 40. Our studies concerning Kayseri and the settlements in the vicinity are still in progress. These churches, built by the non-Muslim citizens of the Ottoman Empire, have neither been fully explored nor appropriately documented in the context of art history and history of architecture as disciplines. They have not been considered to be part of the Ottoman art history. In this paper, some of these monuments have been introduced briefly, related with their value and place in art history, architecture, local settlement history and social history. Some suggestions regarding the preservation and utilization of these monuments have been discussed. The interdisciplinary study still calls for the interest and action of several parties affective in the field.