Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Monastery Land Returned

Turkish authorities decided the return of the lands of the historic Mor Gabriel Monastery to the Syriac community in Turkey, as local media report. The Assembly of Foundations, the decision-making body of the Directorate General of Foundations, approved to return land to the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation on Monday.

The Director General of the Directorate General of Foundations, Adnan Erdem, said the assembly unanimously approved the decision to return the land adding that this decision means the biggest land return during the republican history of Turkey. Mor Gabriel is a 1,700-year-old historic monastery located in the southeastern province of Mardin's Midyat district. In 2008, the Forestry Ministry, the Land Registry Cadaster Office and the villages of Yayvantepe, Candarli and Eglence sued the monastery for allegedly occupying their fields.

The lawsuit was finalized last year, recognizing the monastery as an "occupier." The case was then brought to the European Court of Human Rights. "The land of the Mor Gabriel Monastery will return to the monastery's foundation," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised last week, while declaring a wide range of reforms on democracy.


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