The Turkish press is actively discussing the liturgy in the Surb Khach Church on Akhtamar Peninsula in Van. It is noteworthy that articles abound in criticism of Turkish authorities about the fuss over “not placing the Cross for technical reasons”.

The whole country of Turkey can not lift a 100 pound cross
In particular, analytical journalist, Ayse Gyur, in his article in the newspaper Taraf, shows some sarcasm while drawing parallels with the “inability” to lift 100kg weight on the 10-15 meter high dome.
“In a country where construction firms are able to build 270 meter tall skyscrapers, how is the Governor of Van not embarrassed by claiming that he can not lift and place a 100 kg iron cross at some 10-15 meters? The crisis was overcome by the innovative entrepreneurs of Van, and the cross was erected. Unfortunately, not atop the dome, where it would have been acceptable to the Armenian community”,- writes Gyur.

The cross should have been erected right after the reconstruction
Armenia and Turkey have politicized the issue of erecting the cross on the Surb Khach Church, says architect and restoration expert Mildanoglu Zakaria, who took part in the reconstruction of the historic church on the island of Akhtamar. Nevertheless, the authorization of a religious service is a huge breakthrough, stated Mildanoglu in an interview with the Turkish edition of Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.
He also noted that the debate about the issue of the cross should not detract from the rare religious service in the church. “I have always said that the cross should not be used in politics. The cross should have been erected on the dome after the reconstruction, but this issue has been so politicized by both sides, it has resulted in disputes”, – said the Turk sadly.

Surb Khach liturgy not game, Turkish journalist says
The liturgy in Surb Khach church is not a game. If it were a game typical of Turkey’s foreign policy, the public would have prevented it, Yavuz Baydar, a Sabah correspondent, told the Yerkir Media Armenian TV channel.
“I have come here as a journalist and as a man wishing the improvement of Armenian-Turkish relations and making every effort for this. I will do my best for Armenian-Turkish relations to improve and follow a normal course”, Baydar said.
He regards as wrong the decision not to install the cross on Surb Khach church. He hopes Turkey will realize its mistake and have the cross installed.
Yanuz Baydar has published articles on Armenian-Turkish relations for many years. He has repeatedly visited Armenia and participated in journalist exchange programs.
Turkish Media on Akhtamar 1
Turkish Media on Akhtamar 2

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