ASIA/TURKEY - For now the expropriation of 50 Syriac Orthodox Churches, monasteries and cemeteries has been denied

Friday, 7 July 2017 middle east   oriental churches   religious minorities  


Mardin (Agenzia Fides) - Turkey declares that it has not yet implemented any measure to expropriate 50 Christian churches and monasteries scattered around Mardin, in the Turkish southwestern Tur Abdin region, to transfer its full control to Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs, a body directly linked to the Prime Minister (see Fides 30/6/2017). It was the office of Mardin's governor that denied, at least partially, the news about the seizure of worship sites, cemeteries and monasteries of the Syriac Orthodox Church. According to Turkish Agency Doğan Haber Ajansı, DHS, the ownership and administrative management of the churches and monasteries in question must still be legally defined, but in the meantime the ecclesiastical property will still be registered at the Treasury and will not end up under the control of Diyanet. Kuryakos Ergün, spokesman for the historic monastery of Mor Gabriel dating back to the IV Century after Christ, confirmed that the prospect of a possible seizure of Syriac Orthodox churches and monasteries will be considered archived only when all the goods in question are officially recognized and the ownership rights of the legitimate owners attested. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 7/7/2017)