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Other Churches of Efkere

Surp Kevork Church and Surp Sarkis Church
Türkçe

Surp Kevork (St. George) Church was said to be a one minute walk to the northwest of Surp Stepanos. This was an extremely small chapel built into the rock. Once a year, on a day to celebrate Surp Kevork, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated here. As one left Surp Stepanos, and headed to the right, a door leading into this small chapel was said to exist near the top of the steps that led to the valley below. Alboyajian states that this was "like a small cabin with cells...There were four wooden crucifixes there, three paintings, and a small table...Every week, men and women would go there on pilgrimages." This chapel was mentioned in an almanac from 1718, and in an interview that I conducted with a former resident, this chapel was noted to still exist in the early 1920's, although it was no longer in use. Any further information, or photographs, would be greatly appreciated.

There is a structure standing in Efkere which may be the remains of Surp Kevork Church. Approximately 20 meters to the northwest of Surp Stepanos, there is a building (see photographs to the right) which has been described by current residents of the village as having once been a "chapel", with some elderly Turkish residents interviewed in 2002 remembering that religious services were held by the Armenians in this building. This fits both the location provided by Alboyajian, and also that I have obtained from elderly Armenian natives of the village. This building will need to be studied further. First two photographs courtesy of S. Burhanettin Akbaş. The third and fourth photographs are also from approximately 2002, and demonstrate that the structure is indeed built into the surrounding hillside, as Alboyajian suggested. It may be that the chapel itself was only the structure on the right, which was underground, and not the structure toward the left, with the large arch. The final photograph is a cropped version of one of the vintage photographs of Efkere, with the area in question boxed in green.

Below are interior photographs of this building from September 2005, which suggest that this was indeed once a chapel.

St. Sarkis was another small chapel, possibly also built into the rock, southeast of Surp Stepanos. According to Alboyajian, there was "a small table, two paintings, and four wooden crucifixes." No further information is known.

Questions or Comments? Email Dr. Jonathan Varjabedian.