7 June 2021
Founded in 1611 in Kocaeli, the Armaş Monastery continues to exist despite the past 410 years. However, the historical building, some of which was used as a printing house by the Armenians in the 1800s, has turned into a garbage dump nowadays. The people of the region want the monastery to be restored and brought into tourism.
Located in the Akmeşe region of Kocaeli’s Izmit district, within the body of the ‘Armaş Monastery’ founded by Iranian Armenians in 1611, the historical structure resists not to be destroyed.
It is mentioned in the history books that the brick-built historical building in Akmeşe Cumhuriyet Mahallesi was used as a printing house by Armenians from the 1800s.
The printing house, surrounded by weeds, worn out over time, the stones falling out and turning into a garbage dump, surprises those who see it with its frightening abandoned appearance.
The people of the region, who demanded that the destroyed printing house be restored and brought into tourism, conveyed their wishes to Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. The historical building is expected to be restored in the future.
Stating that the historical building was used as a printing house in the 1800s when Armenians lived, Rahim Varol, Head of the Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, said, “We need to protect this history. We have a school in the immediate vicinity of the historical building. This printing house is a historical artifact that is on the verge of being demolished. We conveyed it to our Mayor Tahir Büyükakın. He also brought this up. I think he will be interested in our field in the future,” he said.
Noting that the work is one of the oldest printing houses in Turkey, Varol said: “A businessman living in Akmeşe had started a small restoration work recently. But it was stopped for some reasons. Nothing has been done since then. “
Varol said, “We need to protect the beauty of Akmeşe that smells of history. At least it should be restored and opened to tourists.”
“There are those who come on tours from time to time. Right behind the mosque in our neighborhood, we had our old regional boarding school. It was demolished because its roof was destroyed in the earthquake and a new one was built in its place,” said Varol. “I believe that tourists will come. You know that the Northern Marmara Motorway has an exit to Akmeşe. This also facilitated transportation. We expect the authorities to protect this structure,” he said.
Frames from Armaş Monastery…