ISTANBUL (Armradio) — The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul has sent a note to the Turkish government and requested clarifications regarding the decision to expropriate the Armenian Sourp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir, Rober Hatechian, editor-in-chief of the Istanbul-based Marmara daily, told Public Radio of Armenia.
He added, however, that the Patriarchate has not received any explanation so far.
After years of struggle the Armenian Sourp Giragos Church was renovated and reopened in 2011, but has since been damaged in clashes between Turks and Kurds.
Hatechian said the national minorities are worried about the move, but don’t believe the government will manage to expropriate all 6,300 plots of land “with one shot.”
“The properties, namely the Armenian Sourp Giragos and Sourp Sarkis Churches will belong to the Armenian community, and I don’t believe any state body will suddenly confiscate them. I don’t see the danger. But I think we have to wait for another couple of days for explanations from the government,” Hatechian said.
“With this step Turkey showed that its policy is the same as it was 100 years ago,” historian Vahan Melikyan told reporters in Yerevan.
“This is a serious threat to the dialogue between the Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian communities. This is a failure of an attempted dialogue between civil societies Turkey had imitated. Turkey behaves like a rightful heir of the Ottoman Empire,” he said.