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 Dolmabahçe Palace of Istanbul is among the most famous works of the Balyans.