Book: New book reaffirms Armenian ethnicity of master architects behind Istanbul’s look

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
December 7, 2017 Thursday


New book reaffirms Armenian ethnicity of master architects behind
Istanbul's look



YEREVAN, DECEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. Hundreds of buildings have been built
in Istanbul by the Balyan family.

For many years Turks were denying the fact that the Balyans were
Armenians, but today, this fact is being accepted already in Turkey
itself.

Ashot Grigoryan’s “Treasures of the gardens of the Armenian People:
Balyans” book once again affirms the Armenian ethnicity of the Balyan
family.

Head Scientific-Secretary of the A. Tamanyan National Museum-Institute
of Architecture Ashot Grigoryan told ARMENPRESS that collecting an
archive about Armenian architects in foreign countries has been on the
museum-institute’s agenda.

“Upon collecting materials on architects who lived or still are living
in Turkey, it turned out that there is a big gap about the Balyan
architect generation. The Balyan’s were very famous architects in
Turkey, but their Armenian ethnicity was rejected for many years”, he
said.

The book shows facts, how the Balyan’s appeared in Istanbul, who they
were, whether or not it was a coincidence that Armenian architects
were also working in Istanbul even before the Balyans. “And it turned
out that before the Balyans, architect Sinan was working in Istanbul,
and Turkey again denies his Armenian background”, he said.

Grigoryan says materials about the Balyans were found in Italy upon research.

Grigoryan said the Balyan’s have hundreds of works in Istanbul, both
Ottoman and Armenian buildings. “These are palace and military
buildings, residential homes, towers, bridges, dams. The Balyan’s are
also the architects of many districts. They also built churches and
hospitals for the Armenian community. Nearly 90% of their buildings
are preserved today”, he said.

Grigoryan says the DolmabahçePalace of Istanbul is among the most
famous works of the Balyans.

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