Photographer's Note

A view of Akdamar, or Aghtamar, an island in the Van lake, eastern Turkey.

This is ancient Armenian territory. A large Armenian settlement was founded here in the 10th century AD, of which the only building remaining today is this little church. There are also the ruins of a monastery, which was destroyed at the same time that the monks were killed in 1915, during what most international historians describe as a genocide on Armenians.

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of maybe two million Armenians during the last few years of the Ottoman empire are still an extremely sensitive question in Turkey. It is only in the past few years that it has become possible to even discuss the matter openly. The present governments of Turkey and Armenia have been trying to mend fences and normalize their relations, but stubborn nationalists on both sides don't seem to want this.

Recently this church has been restored and converted to a museum.

Actually, among my memories from this day in 1974 was that while waiting on the mainland for a boat to take me across the lake, I was told the news in a café that US President Richard Nixon had resigned that day. We were all very pleased with the good news.

In a workshop I have added a view from the mainland, just across from the island. Both pictures were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11522 W: 562 N: 22203] (96576)
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