Thursday, February 10, 2011

Turks restore Armenian Churches “to draw faith tourists from around the world”

According to the Turkish media publication, after Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church in Akhtamar Island, another Armenian Church, Surb Giragos in Diyarbak?r is now preparing for a religious ceremony.

The Istanbul Armenian Foundation undertook the restoration of the church, bringing together Turkey and the Armenian Diaspora.
Officials from Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora are expected to attend a Divine Liturgy to celebrate the church’s reopening, which is scheduled for later this year, Turkish Hurriet informed.

“After the restoration process, we are planning to draw faith tourists from around the world,” Surb Giragos Armenian Church Foundation Chairman Ergun Ayik said.

Note, according to some art historians, the church is the largest in the Middle East. The complex sprawls over 3,200 square meters and includes priests’ houses, chapels and a school. The church was seized by the German army in 1913 and served as their local headquarters until 1918, when it was converted into a fabric warehouse.