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#1 onjig

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:23 PM

 
Turkey official “explains” why Armenian church in Diyarbakır was expropriated
16:52, 29.03.2016
Region:Armenia, Turkey
Theme: Politics
 
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Adnan Ertem, General Director of the Directorate General of Foundations of Turkey, has given a comical explanation in connection with the expropriation of the functioning Surp (Saint) Giragos Armenian Church in Sur district of Diyarbakır city.

Ertem told Agos Armenian bilingual weekly of Istanbul that the expropriation of all buildings in Sur is not aimed at historic structures.

He argued that this expropriation plan envisions the preservation of the historic structures around which numerous illegal buildings were constructed.

According to the Turkish Council of Ministers’ decision, all structures in Sur district of Diyarbakır, including the Surp Giragos Church, have been expropriated.

The Surp Giragos, which is one of the largest churches in the Middle East, had reopened as a functioning church and was reconsecrated in October 2011.

The church was renovated with the co-funding by Diyarbakır Armenians throughout the world and Diyarbakır City Hall.

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So Surp Giragos of Dicranakerts was taken to preserve it, keep it in good shape, because the people who built it might not take care of it properly.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



#2 Yervant1

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:10 AM

GARO PAYLAN SENDS INQUIRY TO DAVUTOGLU REGARDING EXPROPRIATION OF ST. GERAGOS CHURCH

17:22, 29 March, 2016

YEREVAN, MARCH 29, ARMENPRESS. Armenian member of the Turkish
parliament, member of the Kurdish People's Democratic Party Garo Paylan
said that he presented an inquiry to Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu
regarding the expropriation of a number of areas and structures in
Diyarbakir, Sur. As "Armenpress" reports, Paylan published the 9-point
inquiry form on his Facebook page.

The Prime Minister was specifically asked about the reason of
"immediate expropriation" of the total 6300 areas, what legislations
are to be made under the act, and how the rights of the citizens
living in Sur will be protected.

In addition, the inquiry requests to clarify whether the expropriation
decision affects the Christian, the Assyrian and Chaldean churches. At
the same time it is requested to clarify by what standards and laws
the "under risk" areas were selected. The MPs also asked whether the
decision to expropriate the property of churches of minorities does
not contradict the legislation and the Treaty of Lausanne.

While clashes and curfews continue in Diyarbakir, the cabinet
took an urgent expropriation decision. St. Giragos Church, the
largest Armenian church in Middle East, is among the places in Sur
province of Diyarbakir that are expropriated by the decision of the
cabinet. The church was restored and opened to worship in 2011. With
the same decision, Assyrian, Chaldean and Protestant churches are
also expropriated, "Armenpress" reports, citing the Armenian "Agos"
newspaper of Istanbul.

https://urldefense.p...UsmjsLc_JPRs&e=



#3 Yervant1

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:29 AM

ANCA urges action by Obama on Turkish government confiscation of Armenian church

16:09 ¢ 31.03.16

The Armenian National Committee of America has communicated the
Armenian American community's profound concern to the US government
regarding reports that the Turkish government has confiscated the
recently restored St Giragos (Surp Giragos) Armenian Church and a
range of other religious sites in the Diyarbakir region of present-day
Turkey, as part of a broader `emergency expropriation' decision of
over 6000 properties in the area.


In response to ANCA inquiries, a senior Obama Administration official,
speaking on background, noted that the US Embassy in Ankara and
consulates in Adana and Istanbul are closely tracking the recent
cabinet decree and have, in recent days, raised the matter with both
the central government and local authorities. The Turkish government
has informed US officials that the decree is `a bureaucratic measure'
to facilitate the restoration of structures damaged during fighting in
recent months. This official noted that legal challenges have already
been filed against this action in local courts, Asbarez reports.

`We welcome this initial US engagement with the Turkish government
regarding the confiscation of Surp Giragos and encourage a strong,
public American response to this most recent Turkish attack on
religious freedom,' said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the
ANCA. `In light of Turkey's brutal record of destroying and
desecrating Armenian religious and cultural heritage, it is clear that
this latest action represents a renewed attack by Erdogan on Christian
communities, a continuation of Ankara's efforts to erase the ancient
Christian legacy within its present-day borders, and, ultimately `
more than a century after 1915 ` a further consolidation by Turkey of
the fruits of the Armenian Genocide.'

Alarm bells regarding the confiscation were first raised by the
Turkish-Armenian newspaper `Agos,' citing the March 25 issue of the
Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey (T.C. Resmi Gazete), the
country's official journal that publishes new legislation and official
announcements. In addition to Surb Giragos, the Surp Sarkis Chaldean
Church, the Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church, and the city's
Protestant church have also reportedly been expropriated, according to
`Agos'.

Armenians from around the world flocked to Surp Giragos Church in
Diyarbakir on October 22, 2011, to attend both the reconsecration of
the largest Armenian church in the Middle East and the Badarak held
the following day. The church was renovated by the Surp Giragos
Armenian Foundation, with the support of the local Kurdish-controlled
municipality of the time. Following news of the expropriation, Raffi
Bedrosyan, a member of the Surp Giragos Church reconstruction project
told `The Armenian Weekly' that there will be a strong effort to
reclaim the lands. `All legal and political channels will be mobilized
within Turkey and internationally to stop this legalized robbery,'
said Bedrosyan.

Civil society groups, local authorities and elected officials,
including Turkish Parliament member of Armenian descent Garo Paylan
have already registered official inquiries with authorities, with
additional court cases expected.

https://urldefense.p...CxKbeq3GUGLg&e=



#4 Yervant1

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:32 AM

Churches of Diyarbakir also expropriated

Uygar Gültekin 03.28.2016 CHURCHES

Surp Giragos Church, the largest Armenian church in Middle East, is
among the places in Sur province of Diyarbakir that are expropriated
by the decision of the cabinet. With the same decision, Assyrian,
Chaldean and Protestant churches are also expropriated.

While clashes and curfews continue in Diyarbakir, the cabinet took an
urgent expropriation decision. Surp Giragos Church, the largest
Armenian church in Middle East, is among the places in Sur province of
Diyarbakir that are expropriated by the decision of the cabinet. Left
to its own fate for years, the church was finally restored and opened
to worship in 2011. With the same decision, Assyrian, Chaldean and
Protestant churches are also expropriated.

According to the cabinet decision published in Official Journal on
March 25, an `urgent expropriation' decision is taken concerning 6.300
plots of land in Sur province. With this decision, many places in
Abdaldede, AlipaÅ?a, Cemal Yılmaz, Camikebir, CevatpaÅ?a, DabanoÄ?lu,
Hasırlı, Ä°nönü, Ä°skenderpaÅ?a, Lalebey, Malikahmet, Ã-zdemir,
Süleymangazi, SavaÅ?, Å?emhane and Ziyagökalp neighborhoods and two
neighborhoods in YeniÅ?ehir province are expropriated.

Surp Giragos Church, the largest Armenian church in Middle East, Surp
Sarkis Chaldean Church, Armenian Catholic Church, Virgin Mary Ancient
Assyrian Church and Protestant Church are among the places that are
expropriated.

Legal action must be initiated

Speaking to Agos, Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Cultural
Heritage Director Nevin Soylukaya stated that all churches and
properties belonging to the foundations are expropriated. Soylukaya
also said that some properties belonging to the municipality are also
expropriated and they will initiate legal action. She also urged the
owners of the expropriated properties to take legal action.

Walls of Diyarbakir and Hevsel Gardens were added to UNESCO World
Heritage List in 2015. And Sur province is considered as a buffer zone
for Walls of Diyarbakir.

There is no other church open to worship

Sur is the only center that have places of worship for non-Muslims.
Surp Giragos Church, Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, Armenian Catholic
Church, Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church and Protestant Church are
in Sur and currently closed to worship. There is no other church in
Diyarbakir.

Chaldean Church belongs to Mor Petyun Chaldean Catholic Church
Foundation and Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church belongs to Virgin
Mary Ancient Assyrian Church Foundation. Apart from them, in
Diyarbakir, there are 6 churches that is owned by various state
institutions.

Millions spent for restoration

Surg Giragos Armenian Church was left to its own fate, after its
congregants left. With legal changes in foundation administration,
people from Diyarbakir living in Ä°stanbul formed a new administrative
body and initiated restoration work. With the help of funding
campaigns started in the US and other countries, the church was
restored. About 2 million liras was spent for restoration. And it was
awarded with various prestigious restoration awards.

The largest Armenian church in Middle East

The name of the church is mentioned for the first time in 1610-1615 by
Simeon of Poland in his travel notes. Being one of the most important
structures of Armenian architecture history, Surp Giragos Church is
the largest Armenian church in Middle East. It was restored in 1722
and reconstructed and enlarged by Armenian architects Å?ahin, Saruhan
and Yeram in 1729.

Zakarya MildanoÄ?lu

Diyarbakir had been one of the most important cities in Armenian
history. In `Amidai Artsakanknerı' (Echoes of Amida), published in New
York in 1952, its names are listed as the following: Amida, Amed,
O'mid, Emit, Amide, Amedu, Kara Amid, Dikranagerd, Diyarbekir.

And `Diyarbakir and Armenians' is a history that was born before the
Christian era and started to die away in '80s. Many topics, including
education life, professions, livelihoods, religious life, literature,
publishing life, traditions, cultural institutions, political life,
relation with the state and the role of local governing of Diyarbakir
Armenians are being researched and new researchers are welcome.

The relation between Diyarbakir and Armenians started to rupture
slowly in 1915. People of Dikranagerd hosted people from MuÅ?, Bitlis
and Harput, who were managed to survive on the road to Der Zor and
then, they walked to Der Zor with them. Infants and girls were taken
by the locals. Some of them were converted to Islam. Some of the
survivors returned. They tried to build a new life, but the problems
like unemployment, housing and security became unbearable. They went
to Istanbul and then they were scattered to the world. But how can you
forget your homeland? They couldn't have forgotten it.

During Ottoman times, plunderers had eyes for churches, monasteries
and graves. When we turn the pages of history, we see that some
families in Diyarbakir considered Armenian churches and monasteries as
a means of living and plundered all the tangible and intangible assets
of Armenians. With the foundation of the republic, these assets were
considered as ready-to-hand sources for constructing schools, post
offices, orphanages, banks and military buildings. They destroyed them
by cannonballs and dynamites and used the stones of those Armenians
buildings. They wanted to wipe the traces of Armenian masonry off.

Located at the center of Diyarbakir, Surp Giragos Church is one of the
symbols of the city with its size and glorious bell tower. The bell
tower was struck by lightning in 1913. It was rebuilt in the same year
by the golds provided by prominent Armenian people. In the dark days
of 1915, this bell tower was destroyed by cannonballs, since it was
taller than the minarets.

The name of the church is mentioned in 1610-1615 for the first time by
Simeon of Poland in his travel notes. Being one of the most important
structures of Armenian architecture history, Surp Giragos Church is
the largest Armenian church in Middle East. It was restored in 1722
and reconstructed in a larger scale by Armenian architects Å?ahin,
Saruhan and Yeram in 1729.

In June 10, 1881, the entire church was devastated by a fire, but it
was rebuilt in 1883.

Damaged in 1915, the church was used as quarters by German commanders.
Then, it was served as a cotton storage for Sümerbank. Having opened
to worship in 1960, the church became deserted, since Armenians
started to migrate to the western cities or Europe for various
reasons. Since it has no congregant, it wasn't open to worship and
sometimes it is plundered. In time, due to neglect, some parts of the
church collapsed and became dysfunctional. With the efforts of Surp
Giragos Church Foundation and support of Diyarbakir Metropolitan
Municipality, the restoration of the church was ended and it was
opened to worship in 2011.

https://urldefense.p...Q1Z8fmxpSHCs&e=
 



#5 Yervant1

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:41 AM

MP: Turkey has not changed its policy towards Armenians

16:33, 31.03.2016

YEREVAN. – Turkey showed that it has changed nothing regarding
Armenians; it has remained the same as it was 100 years ago, Armenian
MP Aragats Akhoyan said at a press conference on Thursday.

He noted this reflecting on the Turkish government decision to
expropriate St. Giragos (Surp Giragos) Armenian Church in Sur district
of primarily Kurdish-populated Diyarbakır city.

In his words, this confiscation is simply a disgrace.

“Unfortunately, today St. Giragos is virtually destroyed [due to the
clashes in the area],” Akhoyan said. “We will condemn and make a
statement. Thanks to the MPs, the Turkish authorities will feel that
on their skin.”

According to the Turkish Council of Ministers’ decision, all
structures in Sur district of Diyarbakır, including St. Giragos
Church, have been expropriated.

St. Giragos, which is one of the largest churches in the Middle East,
had reopened as a functioning church and was reconsecrated in October
2011.

The church was renovated with the co-funding by Diyarbakır Armenians
throughout the world and Diyarbakır City Hall.

news.am/eng/news/319733.html



#6 MosJan

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 11:28 AM

turk@  mnuma  turq..


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#7 Yervant1

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 10:15 AM

ChristianToday
March 31 2016
 
 
Ancient churches 'nationalised' in Turkey
Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today Contributing Editor 31 March 2016
 

 

st-giragos-armenian-church.jpg?w=760&h=5
 
Wikipedia
St Giragos Armenian Apostolic church in Diyarbakır, Turkey, photographed after a restoration in 2012.

Some of the most important Armenian and other churches in the Middle East have been appropriated by the government of Turkey, according to reports emerging from the region.

The churches include the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic and the Armenian Catholic churches in the Sur district of Diyarbakir.

According to the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, the government decided to take over 6,300 plots of land in total.

The paper reported that the Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, the Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church and the city's Protestant church were among the buildings taken over.

Even buildings owned by the local government were taken, according to Nevin Soylukaya, the local heritage director. Local officials are planning legal action to get their buildings back.

armenian-church-turkey.jpg?w=760&h=507&l
pngX9_XYOApH7.pngpngoeNOm3P1MH.png
 
Murad Sezer/Reuters
Priests hold a mass at Surp Asdvadzadzin Patriarchal Church in Istanbul in April last year, as part of events to commemorate the victims of the Armenian genocide that took place during and after World War I.

Diyarbakir, also known as Amid, is on the west bank of the Tigris and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, according to the Facebook page of two of the churches, where members are discussing how to respond to what they refer to as the "nationalisation" of the buildings. The Armenian Catholic Church of Diyarbakir is understood to have been badly damaged recently during clashes between Turkish armed forces and Kurdish militants.

The most important mosque in Sur, originally a church that was converted in the 16th century, has also been burned down.

The Armenian National Committee of America called for President Obama to act.

The US Embassy in Ankara and consulates in Adana and Istanbul are understood to be tracking the recent cabinet decree and haveraised the issue with both the central government and local authorities.

The Turkish government has informed US officials that the decree is "a bureaucratic measure" to facilitate the restoration of structures damaged during fighting in recent months.

Aram Hamparian of the Armenian National Committee said: "We welcome this initial US engagement with the Turkish government regarding the confiscation of Surp Giragos and encourage a strong, public American response to this most recent Turkish attack on religious freedom. In light of Turkey's brutal record of destroying and desecrating Armenian religious and cultural heritage, it is clear that this latest action represents a renewed attack by Erdogan on Christian communities, a continuation of Ankara's efforts to erase the ancient Christian legacy within its present-day borders, and, ultimately – more than a century after 1915 – a further consolidation by Turkey of the fruits of the Armenian Genocide."

 

http://www.christian...urkey/83050.htm



#8 Yervant1

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 08:16 AM

Radio Canada International
April 2 2016


Canadian man fights to return expropriated Armenian church in Turkey

By Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International

Raffi Bedrosyan is a man on a mission.

The Toronto-based civil engineer and pianist is gearing up for a fight
to restore the ownership of St. Giragos Armenian church in the city of
Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, after it was expropriated by the
Turkish government last week along with other properties in the city’s
historic Sur district.

Over the last few months, Sur has been the scene of heavy fighting
between Kurdish militants affiliated with the PKK, which is considered
a terrorist organization by Turkey and several other countries,
including Canada, and Turkish security forces backed by armour and air
power.

The fighting has destroyed or damaged large parts of the historic
district. And under the pretext that it needs to repair and protect
these historic structures the government in Ankara decided to
expropriate large swaths of the old city, including the St. Giragos
church, which had sustained only minor damage, “a few broken windows
and bullet holes in the walls,” Bedrosyan said.

(click to listen to the full interview with Raffi Bedrosyan)

Bedrosyan, who was born in Turkey to Armenian parents, has a very
personal connection to the church.

“St. Giragos church in Diyarbakir, or Dikranagert, the Armenian word
of the city, is the largest Armenian church in the Middle East,” said
Bedrosyan speaking from his office in Toronto. “It dates back to the
14th century and with several expansions it served the large Armenian
community of 100,000 in Diyarbakir until 1915.”

Then, as the Armenian population of the city was wiped out during the
1915 Armenian genocide, the church was also destroyed, Bedrosyan said.

The bell tower was taken down for being higher than neighbouring
mosque minarets and the rest of the church fell into disrepair and
collapsed by early 2000s, he said.

A few years ago, Bedrosyan joined a group of fellow Armenians, who
formed a charitable foundation to restore the church to its original
glory.

“With worldwide fundraising from Diaspora Armenians, as well as from
Istanbul Armenians, the church was reconstructed in 2011,” Bedrosyan
said.

Last year, Bedrosyan performed a concert in the packed church to mark
the 100th anniversary of the genocide, which Turkey officially refuses
to recognize.


More than a place of worship

In the short time since its restoration St. Giragos had become a
spiritual centre, drawing Armenian pilgrims from all over the world,
as well as a cultural centre for the remnants of the Armenian
community in Diyarbakir, and a genocide memorial, a monumental
reminder of the city’s once thriving Armenian community, Bedrosyan
said.

“But more significantly it has become a meeting place for the
“hidden,” Islamicised Armenians in the region who are the
grandchildren of the forcefully Islamicised Armenian orphans from
1915,” Bedrosyan said. “Thanks to this church they showed the courage
to research and find their Armenian roots again; quite a few of them
got baptised in this church and started taking Armenian classes, which
we had organized.”

Many of these people are now very frustrated and angry, Bedrosyan said.

“People are shocked right now, plus they just survived almost like a
civil war,” Bedrosyan said. “There are several people without a place
to live any more, they are thrown out from their apartments and
houses, which are now burned down and bombed out, but this church
expropriation is like the last straw.”



Finding legal avenues

Bedrosyan says he is trying to find out what legal means there are to
contest the legislation in courts. There is work to be done within
Turkey through the lawyers of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul,
which along with the charitable foundation owns the church and a few
other properties that were confiscated along with it, Bedrosyan said.

Outside Turkey, Berdosyan and his associates are consulting lawyers to
launch lawsuits against the Turkish government.

“I was instrumental in fundraising from Diaspora Armenians and in
almost every country: the U.S., Canada, most of the EU countries there
are Armenians who donated money towards this reconstruction and now
all these people are completely upset and shocked, and all that work,
and money, and efforts are now gone to waste by this legalized
robbery,” Bedrosyan said.

Armenian organizations in Canada and the United States are lobbying
their respective governments up to the level of President Barak Obama
to get involved in this issue, Bedrosyan said.

“And the American embassy in Turkey is very closely following this
case,” Bedrosyan said. “Everybody is waiting for some sort of
explanation and basis for this decision by the Turkish parliament.”

Bedrosyan said he has also contacted the Turkish embassy in Ottawa to
get some explanation.

“They have so far not provided any explanation other than referring me
to announcements by certain members of parliament whose explanations
are quite childish,” Bedrosyan said.

Contacted to comment on the expropriation on Friday, Turkey’s
ambassador in Canada Selçuk Unal said his government has pledged at
the highest level to restore all the properties that can be repaired
and build new housing where buildings have been damaged beyond repair.

“But for that they need to expropriate a couple of buildings, maybe
more than that, so there will be new buildings to be built in the
vicinity and (they) will be returned to the persons who have owned the
original places,” Unal said.

(click to listen to the full interview with Turkish ambassador Selçuk Unal)




Bedrosyan says he doesn’t buy that argument.

“In order to replace a few windows, which were broken in this church,
you don’t need to expropriate the church,” Bedrosyan said.

There have also been assurances by a local MP from the governing AKP
party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s minister of culture
who visited Diyarbakir with two other cabinet ministers on Thursday
that there will be no expropriations of churches or mosques, Unal
said.

“And today the prime minister (Ahmet Davutoğlu) was visiting
Diyarbakir province,” Unal said. “He made a public speech, assuring
everybody that whatever is destroyed will be restored within a new
property development package and he also stressed that property rights
and tittles will be strictly upheld during any possible reconstruction
efforts.”

Despite all these assurances, the fact remains that the St. Giragos
church along with a couple of other properties belonging to the
church, are on the official list of expropriated properties published
by the government, Bedrosyan said.

And if political pressure to stop the expropriation within and outside
Turkey doesn’t work, he and his supporters are ready for a lengthy
legal battle, Bedrosyan said.

“This act is against human rights, the property rights or every other
right that I can think of, which is supposedly safeguarded by the
Turkish constitution, EU laws that Turkey is bound by, so there will
be lengthy lawsuits.”

https://urldefense.p...LywEEOrqro24&e=
 



#9 Yervant1

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 10:32 AM

Al-Monitor
April 10 2016


Why the Turkish government seized this Armenian church

Author: Pinar Tremblay
Posted April 10, 2016

Turkey has been making drastic decisions in different towns of the
majority Kurdish southeast in the past few weeks. On March 21,
Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) government hastily passed
legislation referred to as “urgent expropriation of the Sur district”
of Diyarbakir province. On March 26, the government's Official Gazette
announced all the addresses of the properties to be expropriated.

These decisions have been met with local opposition, which has been
silenced swiftly. But the Sur situation generated global reactions
because of the town's history — so much so that Galip Ensarioglu, a
prominent AKP parliamentarian, told the press that the US Embassy had
called him asking about the reports. Ensarioglu said the reports
amounted to a smear campaign spreading false information about the
confiscation process. Others beg to differ.

Indeed, the story of Sur evolves around historic churches and citadels
of the town, which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Months of
fighting with the Kurdistan Workers Party have left the region in
ruins, and ambiguous government statements furthered the frustration
of civilians who were obliged to leave their homes. One of the
concerned groups is Armenian. About 110 years ago, the region’s
population distribution shows Sur was an Armenian majority town.

As aerial images of Sur expropriations started circulating on social
media, Armenians all around the world became concerned, particularly
about one church that was reopened only in 2011. Soon it became clear
that several inalienable religious endowment properties, or waqf,
along with the largest Armenian Church, St. Giragos Armenian Apostolic
Church, were included on the list. About 82% of the district is
estimated to have been expropriated by the government.

Raffi Bedrosyan, a Canadian-Armenian civil engineer and writer who was
involved in the reconstruction of St. Giragos, spoke to Al-Monitor
about its significance. According to Bedrosyan, St. Giragos is the
largest Armenian church in the Middle East. "It dates back to the 14th
century, and with several expansions, it served the large Armenian
community of 100,000 in Diyarbakir until 1915,” he said.

After the Armenians were forced to leave the city, the church was made
to serve different purposes, from an army barracks to a warehouse.
Constant attempts to keep it functioning as a church were futile until
a waqf foundation was able to reclaim the property.

“In 2009, a newly formed church charitable foundation showed the
courage and determination to start reconstruction of [St.] Giragos.
With organized fundraising from the Armenian community in Istanbul and
worldwide Armenian diasporas, as well as some contribution from the
local Kurdish municipal leaders, the church was renovated and opened
in 2011, and more than 4,000 people attended,” Bedrosyan said.

He added, “It soon became a spiritual and cultural center for Armenian
pilgrims from the diaspora and a meeting place for thousands and
thousands of hidden Armenians living in the region, who are the
descendants of 1915 orphaned Armenian girls and boys [who were]
forcibly Islamized, Kurdified and Turkified. The [St.] Giragos Church
Foundation also succeeded in having several properties … restored to
church ownership.”

In 2012, Bedrosyan gave a memorable piano concert at the church. The
church became a catalyst, bringing Christians and descendants of
Armenians from all around the world to Sur, and it also served as a
spiritual refuge for hundreds of Islamized Armenian survivors.

Aline Ozinian is a regional analyst for the Armenian Assembly of
America and a correspondent for Agos, an Armenian daily published in
Turkey. She described for Al-Monitor how the news of expropriation
resonated among Armenians.

“First and foremost, it caused a loss of trust of the government. In
the early years of the AKP, there was hope for a fresh start because
the AKP appeared to be embracing the rhetoric of religious freedom.
During the reconstruction process of [St.] Giragos, there was hope
that, as citizens of Turkey, Armenians would have an achievement,”
Ozinian said. “Yet with this expropriation decision, it is confirmed
that this was a cheap illusion. The police mentality that yells at the
Kurds ‘You are all Armenians’ has now been institutionalized. The
expropriation of [St.] Giragos symbolizes a punishment for both Kurds
and Armenians. It is highly probable that the AKP is punishing
Armenians, as some Armenians have voted for the pro-Kurdish HDP
[Peoples’ Democratic Party].”

The AKP has repeatedly denied expropriating churches. Ensarioglu
vehemently rejected expropriation of any of the churches, saying, “We
are only here to repair the churches and give them back to the waqfs.”
Yet none of the locals seemed convinced by his statements. As the
pressure built, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Sur on April 1.

Ozinian said, “Davutoglu’s first task at Sur was to pray at a mosque.
This was a message. The church had rejuvenated the Islamized Armenians
in the region, encouraging them to investigate their histories. It
seems the Turkish government, intolerant toward differences, will
resolve all problems by expropriating the church.”

She also emphasized the sudden turn in Turkish press coverage. “During
the reconstruction process of the church from 2009 to 2011, the press
coverage was extensive. The church was portrayed as a monument of ‘the
AKP’s tolerance,’ yet the expropriation news barely made it into the
mainstream media, and not to the headlines at all. In 1915, hatred
removed and cleansed the Armenians from Sur, and now I fear a similar
destiny awaits the Kurds.”

Indeed, Ozinian’s concerns have been repeated by several columnists
from the region who say they fear the government plans to empty the
region of Kurds and settle Syrian refugees as a buffer zone between
Kurdish areas. Another concern is the greed factor. The AKP has
prepared a video showing what the future of the historic Sur district
would look like. Davutoglu likened it to the reconstructed city of
Toledo, Spain. “I told my wife, we should own a house in Sur as well,”
he added.

Locals were not satisfied with his words, as prominent columnist
Nurcan Baysal penned a searing column titled “Take Toledo for yourself
and leave Sur alone.” Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the HDP, had
already submitted an inquiry about the ancient church and has been
seeking to halt its expropriation.

Many believe this move by the AKP is another lucrative gentrification
project for construction companies belonging to AKP cronies. In the
midst of all this, the country's biggest Armenian church appears to
have met the same destiny as dozens of others in the region — it has
become collateral damage.

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#10 Yervant1

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:22 AM

Diyarbakir Municipality files annulment action against expropriation

04.11.2016 NEWS

Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality appealed to Council of State for
annulling the urgent expropriation decision taken by cabinet.

Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality appealed to Council of State for
stay of execution and annulment of the urgent expropriation in Sur,
which also includes 174 properties belonging to the municipality.

The first lawsuit filed by the municipality is against the urgent
expropriation in Sur, which is in the area of responsibility of the
municipality. Almost the entire Sur province is in the scope of this
expropriation plan. The second lawsuit is filed about 174 properties
belonging to the municipality, which are included in the scope of the
expropriation plan.

In the petition for annulment, it is stated that this expropriation
plan involves grave violations of right. It is pointed out that
cabinet's decision is against law, principles of democratic and social
state of law and principles of right of property, equality, housing
and security of domicile.

“50.000 people will be displaced”

“If the decision of cabinet wouldn't be annulled, almost 50.000 people
would be displaced and turned into refugees inside the country. This
decision is against Article 13, 23, 35, 41, 46, 56 and 57 to the
Turkish Constitutional Law and it is also against Article 1 of
Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Annulment
of this decision, which is clearly against the national and
international laws, is a necessity in a state of law."

Objection against expropriation of "publicly-owned properties"

Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality made another application to
Council of State for stay of execution and annulment of the
expropriation of 174 properties belonging to the municipality. In the
petition, it is reminded that rights of property, resource and
servitude belonging to public institutions cannot be expropriated.

Diyarbakir Bar Association also appealed to Council of State with a
request of stay of execution and annulment of the expropriation
decision made by cabinet.

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#11 Yervant1

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 10:12 AM

The Government Of Turkey Is Now Confiscating Christian Churches And Will Be
Demolishing Them. Antichrist Empire Of Turkey Is Also Planning To Slaughter All
Christians
 

By Walid Shoebat on April 18, 2016
 
https://urldefense.p...3lLq1xzDNlvo&e=

 

 
Turkey’s ancient church buildings –some of which pre-date Islam– have been
managed, historically, by church foundations. Erdogan just confiscated them to
redesign them into Muslim Ottoman style mosques. Erdogan last week also just
took control of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation from Egypt which
represents the body of 57 Muslim states. He called the OIC to create a Muslim
union and to initiate an international Muslim Police to go after Islamophobia
(that would be people like us). He is also passing a new bill that will allow
him to finally gain his full control of Turkey.
 
Things are getting closer than I thought. So lets start.
 
Erdogan is taking advantage of the 10 months of urban conflict between Turks
and Kurds and as an excuse to rebuild and restore the historical centre of the
region’s largest city, Diyarbakir, Erdogan’s government decided to expropriate
huge sections of property which includes especially the only few Christian
churches there. The plan of course is to redesign everything into Muslim
Ottoman style construction and wipe all facades of Christian civilization in
that land.
 
Turkey’s “urgent expropriation” of 6,300 plots of land in the Sur district
included six churches which are now under “state control”: the Virgin Mary
Syriac Orthodox Church, the Surp (Armenian for “Saint”) Sarkis Chaldean
Catholic Church, the Diyarbakir Protestant Church, the Apostolic Armenian Surp
Giragos Church, an Armenian Catholic church, and the Mar Petyun Chaldean
Catholic Church.
And just to give you an example of the significance of these churches, the
Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church is 1,700 years old, which stood in Turkey
over a millennia before Muhammad’s carcass rotted in Mecca.

The 1,700-year-old Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church in Diyarbakir was one of
the churches seized.

And the world says nothing!
Things are moving fast for a complete Islamist control in Turkey. In fact one
bill was proposed last week on April 12 and it has the support of all 316
ruling Justice and Development AKP Party. By this bill, under “combatting
terrorism,” the Turkish government will be able to accuse the HDP Kurdish party
of being a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and
by this Erdogan will be able to scoop their seats in the parliament and gain
the seats he needs to bend the constitution and announce himself sole ruler of
Turkey. Once the bill passes, it is all over and you will be writing me asking
how to count heads and horns.
 
There are 550 deputies in Turkey’s parliament, the AKP has 317 seats, followed
by the CHP with 133 seats. The HDP and the MHP have 59 and 40 seats,
respectively. Experts estimate that Erdogan will get sufficient votes to make
the constitutional change.
 
On April 5th, we told you this was coming and now it is here and the Christians
of Turkey have no one to lament to. This is relevant to the prophecies we’ve
been warning you about. During all these clashes between Turkish armed forces
and Kurdish militants in recent months has become the punishment of Christians
at the Sur district of Diyarbakir. There will be no more communion services. So
what we told you about the Antichrist plan on January 17th, the day I said I
crossed the Tiber, is beginning to spark.
 
It was Turkey’s MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli who said regarding Sur (where these
churches are): “level it to the ground and leave nobody alive. Do not let our
martyrs’ blood remain on the ground” speaking of the Kurds, but this includes
also the Christians. Massacres are not far off, they will first come to the
Kurd and then the Christian.
 
It was only last week when deputy head of Sweden’s main Turkish association
Barbaros Leylani speaking at Sergels Square in the center of the Swedish
capital called for “death for the Armenian dogs” and later added:
 
“Let us show Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe what Turkey stands for. We do not
like blood, but we can let the blood flow when it is needed”.



 
And there is even more, Erdogan last week took over the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) which represents all Muslim nations and gave a speech saying
that “in [Muslim] unity there lays our strength”. He called on constructing an
international “Muslim Police” centered in Istanbul. What Erdogan is looking to
do is to create a Muslim Interpol and also is creating a Muslim ‘U.N’ which
comes second to the United Nations in size and global power. The goal Erdogan
said is “to defend Muslim minorities globally from Islamophobia”. This would
mean applying serious pressure on free speech and shut down critique of Islam.
 
The 13th summit of the organisation, whose chair taken from Egypt by Turkey for
the next two years, hoped to increase unity and solidarity between Muslim
countries against what Erdogan calls “terrorism”, that is defined as anyone who
goes against Erdogan’s plans.
 
Erdogan chaired the final session and said the Palestine Declaration once again
proves the support to Palestine by the Muslim countries: “The Palestine
Declaration that we have accepted is once again the highest level proof and
expression of the support given by Islamic world to our Palestinian brothers in
their honorable resistance”.
 
“We have never left alone our Palestinian brothers so far,” he said.
 
“Insha Allah [Allah willing]  we are never going to leave them on their own.”
 
In other words, what he is saying is that the roots of the Israel-Palestine
conflict which dates back to 1917 when the Ottoman’s lost Palestine and Erdogan
now wants Jerusalem back.

When Muslims like Cavusoglu above tweets and says “Justice,” it means “Muslim
Justice,” and when they say “Peace” they mean “peace comes only when Muslim
Justice is applied”. Get it?

And when it comes to the fate of the Kurds and Christians, we warned
you of Davutoğlu’s controversial redevelopment plan in Diyarbakir where this
son of satan unveiled a video depicting a lavish plan for the redevelopment of
Sur that will wipe out all the Kurdish, Roman and Christian heritage in
exchange for Ottoman:
 
And while Erdogan lavishes in palaces in Istanbul with German Chancellor Angela
Merkel “pitching his royal tents between two seas” (Dan 11:45), Davutoglo as
the Himmler enters Diyarbakır (Sur) with the sound of ululation from women and
chants of Islamist support from Muslim men as he plans his soon-to-be
massacres.


These churches Erdogan is destroying are not the empty shells you have in
Europe. They are alive and vibrant. Worshippers celebrated the reconsecration
of the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church in 2011, after it had fallen into
serious disrepair. It once served as the metropolitan cathedral of Diyarbakir
and now its no more, confiscated by Antichrist.
 
Well over a million of these ethnic Christians were massacred and sent on death
marches during the final years of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the
20th century and now they simply want to wipe out what is left, this way there
will be no trace to what Herod did in “Ramah, great mourning, Rachel weeping
for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
 
When we read the Psalms on the destruction of the Temple and the synagogues in
Jerusalem by Antiochus, most do not realize this is also a long-term
fulfillment. The Psalms describe “with axes” “they [now the Muslims] have
defiled the dwelling place of thy name on the earth. They [the Muslims] said in
their heart, the whole kindred of them together: Let us abolish all the
festival days of God from the land [no more Communion]. Our signs [crosses,
icons] we have not seen … How long, O God, shall the enemy reproach: is the
adversary to provoke thy name for ever?”
 
Erdogan wants to mimmic Sultan Mehmed who adopted the imperial
title Kayser-i-Rûm “Caesar of Rome” of the eastern Roman empire and will bring
in the system that will desecrate the Eucharist.
 
It was only a couple months ago when church salaries were changed from being
funded by the congregants to now being fully controlled by the Diyanet (Muslim
religious authority in Turkey) as news confirm. Pretty soon Turkey will begin
planting their puppets in churches who will keep a lid on all the persecutions
as it was in history when Scholarius was a staunch antagonist of the West and
the Catholic Church and was enthroned as the Ecumenical Patriarch of
Constantinople-New Rome by the Sultan himself in 1454 A.D. In turn Gennadius II
recognized Mehmed the Conqueror as successor to the throne. This is giving
allegiance to Antichrist.
 
Mehmed also had a blood lineage to the Byzantine Imperial family; his
predecessor, Sultan Orhan I had married a Byzantine princess, and Mehmed
claimed descent from John Tzelepes Komnenos.
 
And like Komnenos, Erdogan’s origin is from Christian Georgia, and like Mehemd
the Conqueror, as Daniel predicted “he will not honor the God of his fathers”
(the Christian God) and instead he will honor “a [singular] God [Allah]” a “god
of fortresses” (war and castles), exactly as we see Erdogan already doing.
 
Antichrist after another Antichrist, Erdogan will soon begin to either remove
the churches or control them to abide by his new Caliphate system.
 
It is Antiochus all over again. But are the Maccabees within sight?
 
Today all we have is the Sanhedrin of Rome (the Vatican) discussing how to
reverse theology on Christian militarism and then we have the other lazy
side who says “its not about church buildings. Jesus will do it all. Just turn
the other cheek” and then we have the Church Militant, the love of my heart.
 
The lazy, of course, will call for peace, until the terrorists defile one of
their ‘secular’ national monuments and only then the lazy will instantly scream
out for blood.
 
For how long O Lord must we endure the hypocrite, the backbiting slanderers,
the persecutors and the cowards? Lord have mercy.
Christus Vincit.
 



#12 Yervant1

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 10:04 AM

Armenians alarmed by Turkey's “renewal” campaign in Diyarbakir

April 24, 2016 - 12:49 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish government seized the historic Armenian
Surp Giragos Church, a number of other churches and large swaths of
property in the heavily damaged Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, saying it
wants to restore the area but alarming residents who fear the
government is secretly aiming to drive them out, the New York Times
said.

Both the Armenians, for whom Surp Giragos is an important cultural
touchstone, and the Kurds have discerned a hidden agenda in the
expropriations. They say the government plans to replace the destroyed
neighborhoods they shared with other minorities with luxury rentals
and condominiums affordable only to a wealthier, presumably
nonminority class of residents.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the government’s urban
renewal plans for Diyarbakir in 2011, saying they would “make the city
into an international tourism destination,” the New York Times said.

The local governor’s office defended the decision to expropriate the
property in Diyarbakir, saying in a written statement that the main
aim was to bring Sur’s potential as a historic quarter to light by
restoring registered buildings and replacing irregular structures with
new ones that fit the city’s historical fabric. Local officials have
said the properties will be returned once they are restored.

A video distributed by the Prime Minister’s office to illustrate the
government’s vision for the project has also been criticized for its
focus on mosques and residential areas over other prominent religious
establishments in the area.

The Diyarbakir Bar Association has sued the government, claiming that
the project is a work of “military and security reconstruction” and
that it will not benefit Sur. The Surp Giragos Church is also
preparing to take legal action against the order.

https://urldefense.p...zJ3zfc_iIDnA&e=


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#13 Yervant1

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:00 AM

Voice of America
May 13 2016


Armenian Church at Center of Ethnic Group's Anxiety


Dorian Jones

May 12, 2016 5:53 PM

DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY—

A service last year in the newly restored Armenian church of Surp
Giragos brought members of the small ethnic Armenian minority together
with members of the international Armenian diaspora.

The restoration of the church — one of the largest Armenian churches
in the southern Turkish city of Diyarbakir — was a powerful symbol of
hope for the renewal of the country’s ethnic Armenian community.

But that hope faded earlier this year as reports surfaced that the
Turkish government expropriated Surp Giragos and six other churches.

Gaffur Turkay, of the Surp Giragos Foundation, said the expropriation
raises dark memories.

“The law says our churches have been expropriated,” he said. “But when
we ask, the authorities say, ‘No, they haven't.' We have experienced
this before. In 1936, all of our properties were taken and we are
still fighting to get them back. We are not unfamiliar with this; we
have anxiety, fear, because we don't know.”

Church’s importance

The controversy over expropriations is one of the latest chapters in
the effort to restore the historical quarter of Diyarbakir, which has
been badly damaged in months of fighting between the Kurdish rebels
and Turkish security forces.

The city's local authority, run by the pro-Kurdish HDP party, has
financially supported the restoration of Surp Giragos as part of its
efforts to make Diyarbakir a multiethnic religious center.

"Diyarbakir was an Armenian town before the genocide” that began in
1915, said political scientist Cengiz Aktar. “Hardly anyone is left,
and the restoration of this church was very significant. Both the
Armenian community and local authorities were asserting themselves
through the restoration of this church. The restoration of it had [a]
widespread echo in the Armenian community worldwide."

The church of Surp Giragos had become a place where ethnic Armenians
whose families had converted to Islam were rediscovering their
identity and faith. But the renewed fighting between the PKK and the
government has resurrected historical prejudices and suspicions
regarding ethnic Armenians.

‘Fear in all of us’

Government ministers have linked Armenians to the Kurdish rebels, and
anti-Armenian graffiti allegedly painted by Turkish security forces
can be seen across the city.

“There is fear,” said one member of Diyarbakir's ethnic Armenian
community, who did not want to be identified. “There is fear in all of
us. What was done to the Armenians in 1915 is now being done to Kurds.
It is the same mentality, same logic. This happened to us before —
this genocide, the deaths. We don't want to live it again.”

A year ago in Diyarbakir, a cease-fire with the PKK rebels was
entering its third year.

That peace enabled the city and its people to rediscover their rich
multiethnic and religious past, powerfully symbolized by the
restoration of Surp Giragos. Observers warn that the return of war has
replaced hope with fear, especially for the region's tiny Armenian
minority.

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