6 Eylül 2011 Salı

Cellar Dig for Treasure All for Naught

treasure links to original article

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 5 September 2011)

In Fatih district four treasure hunters excavated the cellar of an apartment
building in search of an urban legend - 'an Armenian woman who had a
shop at the Covered Bazar buried her gold here.' Among those taken into
custody in connection with the incident was the apartment owner.

The legend of the Armenian woman who buried her gold has spread from
ear to ear in Yedikule neighborhood and prompted four treasure hunters to
open a 20-meter hole in the basement of an apartment. The cellar floor of
the four story apartment building at 27 Imam Hüseyin Street was rented by
two people for 400TL three months ago. Four treasure hunters then cut
into the floor and started to fill bags full of dirt. They advanced their excavation
about 20 meters but when they realized that they wouldn't find anything they
said 'we're not comfortable in the basement so we're turning it over to our
relatives' and vacated.

However, on 29 August noises once again started coming from the house
and police were called to the scene. The treasure hunters were caught in the
hole. House owner Sami Önal, his father Zeki Önal and one of the renters,
Ömer Kaya, were subsequently released by the court on duty. The lawyer
for the other apartment dwellers, Metin Erkan, said they wanted the house
returned to its previous state. He expained that 'this has been talked about
for ages here, that an Armenian woman lived here. Supposedly she returned
and told the people living here that 'I buried something for safekeeping here.'
That's probably why we've suffered this incident. They dug 20 meters. Above
there are eight apartments. The welfare of those living here was never
considered. We're frightened to live here. The dug into the ground to the
water level. It was like the first part of a horror film.They dug this much but
we didn't hear a thing. A very professional job.'

Nusret Açan, who sells pickles in the neighborhood, said that they live in
Istanbul's oldest area so it's normal for such gossip to float around. She
added 'but Greeks lived here, not Armenians.We're having a good laugh
about this, wondering where we should dig next.' Nadır Kıpçak, who has
been a barber in the neighborhood for 40 years, stated after the incident
that urban legends are talked about in the coffee houses, 'everyone repeats
what's been heard here and there. An Armenian woman was mentioned.
She supposedly had a shop at the Covered Bazar and buried her gold here.
But the building is only 50 years old so if there were any gold it would have
been found when the building was being built.'

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