Turkey overrules earlier expropriation decision of Armenian St. Giragos Church in Diyarbakir
YEREVAN, MARCH 2, ARMENPRESS. Turkey’s highest judicial body, the State Council, has repealed an earlier decision of the ministerial council on nationalizing the Armenian St. Giragos Church of Diyarbakir, Agos reports.
In 2016 the Turkish government decided to expropriate a large part of Sur, a district where the church is located, after the Turkish-Kurdish clashes. The expropriation order included many other religious sites, in addition to the Armenian St. Giragos Church.
The St. Girgaros Armenian Church Foundation filed a lawsuit against the ruling to the State Council, and won the suit.
The State Council has recorded that the Armenian Chuch is a cultural heritage which should be protected. It also mentioned that it is open for religious ceremonies and it should be restored after being damaged from the Turkish-Kurdish clashes.
The church has been closed since 2015.
Security personnel don’t even allow to enter the nearby areas. But even in such heightened security conditions the church was looted.
It is one of the largest Christian churches in the Middle East, with seven altars.
Although unclear when the church was built, the name has been mentioned since 1610-1615.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan