Surp Garabed (I Went to Surp Garabed)
Mikail Aslan and Akunq Ensemble

Evie’s post reminded me of this song about Surp Garabed Monastery, one of many structures destroyed by Turks.

Surp Garabed/Karapet Monastery was one of the three most important sites for Armenian Christian pilgrimage, and among the richest, most ancient institutions in Ottoman Armenia, until it was destroyed to its foundations by Turks after the Armenian Genocide. In the Middle Ages, the monastery Surb Karapet was not only one of the most revered places of the Armenians, but also a rich agricultural center of the region. It also possessed an extensive library, and was one of the centers of education. Revered by both Armenians and Zazas, the monastery was renown for its ability to heal the mentally ill.

At present nothing remains of the former wealth and livelihood of the monastery. After the extermination and expulsion of the Armenians in the Armenian Genocide, Surb Karapet ceased to exist not only as a spiritual center, but also as an architectural monument. The monastery was blown up by the Turkish army as part of successive Turkish governments’ policy of cultural genocide of the Armenian historical monuments in Turkey.

Lyrics in transliterated Dersim-Armenian, Turkish, and English

Surp Garabed em knatser
Surp Garabed’e gitmişim

I went to Surp Garabed

Odan em barger knatser
Odada yatmış uyumuşum

I laid in the room and slept

Murad dver chem imatser
Murad vermiş duymamışım

Murad gave [unclear what he gave] and I had not known

Mush’o Sultan Surp Garabed
Muş Sultanı Surp Garabed

Our Mush Sultan Holy Garabed