Thursday, April 07, 2016

Turkey Seizes Six Churches as State Property in Volatile Southeast

After 10 months of urban conflict in Turkey's war-torn southeast, the government has expropriated huge sections of property, apparently to rebuild and restore the historical centre of the region's largest city, Diyarbakir.

But to the dismay of the city's handful of Christian congregations, this includes all its Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches. Unlike the state-funded mosques, Turkey's ancient church buildings - some of which pre-date Islam - have been managed, historically, by church foundations.

The new decision has effectively made the Diyarbakir churches - one 1,700 years old, another built only in 2003 - state property of Turkey, an Islamic country of 75 million.

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