Turkiye, Culture

Turkiye restores 2 historical churches damaged by PKK terrorists

Nearly $2.15M spent on restoration of Surp Giragos, Mar Petyun Chaldean churches in Diyarbakir

Ahmet Kaplan   | 30.04.2022
Turkiye restores 2 historical churches damaged by PKK terrorists

DIYARBAKIR, Turkiye

Restoration of two historical churches in southeastern Turkiye, which were damaged by the PKK terror group in 2015, has been completed.

According to official figures, nearly 32 million Turkish liras ($2.15 million) were spent on the restoration of Surp Giragos Armenian church, and Mar Petyun Chaldean church in the province of Diyarbakir.

Turkiye's Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry provided the funds for the restoration, which started in 2019.

Both the churches, built during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, will reopen their doors to worship on May 7.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ergun Ayik, head of the Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation, said the restoration was in line with the original structure.

Rather than cement, "old mortars and basalt stone of the region were used and everything was done perfectly," Ayik said, adding that he was glad the churches will reopen soon.

Built in the 16th century, Surp Giragos is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East and is spread over 3,000 square meters.

Mar Petyun Chaldean church was built in the 17th century, and was used by the local Chaldean community.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

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