Greek Cypriot leader Makarios’ school in Turkey on sale

Greek Cypriot leader Makarios’ school in Turkey on sale

BURSA - Doğan News Agency
Greek Cypriot leader Makarios’ school in Turkey on sale

About 8 million Turkish Liras will be needed for restoration of the historical Taş Mektep (Stone School), according to Tiriliye Mayor Ali Turan. DHA photo

A historical school in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Tirilye district is set to be sold upon a municipal council decision as the local administration cannot afford to restore the building.

Founded in 1905, the “Taş Mektep” (Stone School) served as a seminary until 1924, after which it was turned into a primary school before being evacuated in 1988. Archbishop Makarios, who was elected the first President of the Republic of Cyprus in 1959, was reportedly a student at the school, while Metropolitan Chrysostom of Smyrna worked as the school principal.

“After the ministries give authorization, Taş Mektep will be put up for sale for about 3 million [Turkish] Liras. There is a lot of demand for it. Arabs and the Fener Greek Patriarchate also want to buy it,” District Mayor Ali Turan said. Tirilye district, which has a 3,000-year history, boasts many churches, seminaries and holy springs from the Greeks. The “Taş Mektep” was handed over to Uludağ University in 1989 and later to Tirilye Municipality on condition of restorations.

Tirilye Mayor Ali Turan said about 8 million liras will be needed for restoration. “We cannot afford it. The building will collapse if not restored. So, we brought the option of selling it to council’s agenda. The decision [to sell the building] has been issued. However, the Culture Ministry and Interior Ministry must issue the necessary authorizations for us to sell it. If they approve, we are planning to sell it for 3 million liras,” Turan said.

“Arabs also want to buy Taş Mektep. Also, the Fener Greek Patriarchate, which bought Kemerli Church last year, wants it too. The one who buys Taş Mektep will probably use it as a hotel after its restoration is completed. And we are planning to build a terminal area, parking lots, an area for vocational schools, a wedding hall and a football field in our district with the money we get,” Turan added.