Mouradian: Kars, Kars, Kars: Dispatches from Turkey (Part IV)

Mouradian: Kars, Kars, Kars: Dispatches from Turkey (Part IV)

Armenian Weekly
Sat, Mar 20 2010

By: Khatchig Mouradian

KARS, Turkey – I arrived in Kars this afternoon. I checked in to my
hotel room. This was my fourth day in Turkey and I had already seen
and heard a lifetime’s worth of outrageous things (and, to be fair, I
also had many great moments). But nothing had shaken me.

My first stop was the 10th century Armenian Church Sourp Arakelots.
I looked at Kars through my hotel window. The entire city was looking
back at me. A bare tree nearby with several crows perched on it caught
my attention.

And there and then, I broke down in tears. A bare tree and a few crows
had done what no one and nothing else had succeeded to do over the
past few days.

My first stop after leaving the hotel was the 10th century Armenian
Church Sourp Arakelots (St. Apostles Church) at the Kale Ici
neighborhood. The church is now turned into a mosque, called the
Kumbet Mosque.

I removed my shoes at the entrance (as required when entering mosques,
of course) and went in. A local was praying. After an initial
hesitation, I silently said my Hayr Mer (the Lord’s Prayer).

It felt like I had never prayed before.

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