Melen Şarapları

The St. Ioannis Theologos Monastry

Melenwinery One of our future projects

The Çetintaş family can trace its roots in Thrace back to the Turkish land owners who came from Konya to Rumelia 500 years ago. Melen or Güzelköy, as it was then known, was synonymous with the cultural values and traditions of their own background.

Ganohora has a recognized history dating from the 1st century; it was a religious centre for Christians during the Middle Ages with its many churches and monasteries. In Ganohora alone there were 6 monasteries. In 1955, when the Turkish Treasury auctioned off the site the Çetintaş family bought it and the ruins of the Monastery of St. Ioannis are no wall that remain of the church’s influence in the region today.

The monastery was built by Friar Dionysuis (Kalafatis) in 1865. He built over the remains of an older Byzantine monastery which, although the date of its building has not yet been discovered, is believed to pre-date the conquest of Istanbul (1453). It is known however, that before the Byzantine monastery was built, the land was used as acemetery during the 5th and 6th centuries. (Ecclesi astical records from the Patriarchate of Istanbul)


The Cetintas family had its own special reason for wanting to acquire the derelict monastery and land. During the disturbed and lawless times of the early 1920s, they received word that one of the gangs roaming the country side intended to attack the Çetintaş house in Melen. Grandfather Ahmet Çetintaş, realizing that he couldn’t defend the house and family, fled to the St. Ioannis monastery, believing it to be the safest place around. The family were received and given shelter by the Abbot.

That night their house was attached and destroyed. The memory of these events was firmly in Ahmet’s son Hüseyin's mind when he bought the land from the Treasury.

It is now one of Melen Winery’s project store novate and restore the remains of the Monastery of St. IoannisTheologos.

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