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Turkey confirms plans to restore Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir
2019-03-14 12:42:18

Turkey will allocate 15 million Turkish liras ($2.75 million) to restore Surp Giragos and Mar Petyun churches in the southeastern Diyarbakir province, Annan Ertem, director-general of the Foundations department told Anadolu Agency.

The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization will provide the funds, he added.

"All historical buildings in the area will be restored," Ertem said.

The St. Giragos church was built in 1376 and is known to be the biggest Armenian church in the Middle East. It was used by the German army as headquarters during the World War I and was converted into a warehouse after the war.

Between 1960s and 1980s, the Armenian community obtained its ownership but due to mass immigration to urban areas, the church remained deserted for several years. It was renovated and reopened in October 2011, but was seriously damaged in September 2015.