Transformation of Akhtamar Christian Church into museum shows Turkey's real intentions

Armen Hareyan's picture

Turkey says it restores Armenian church, but does not allow worship and transforms the christian church into museum to attract tourism.

The inauguration of the Holy Cross Church on Akhtamar island as a "monument-museum" shows real intentions of the Turkish government, "Hay Dat" Office head Giro Manoyan stated to the PanARMENIAN.Net journalist.

"They turned the church into a museum, where it is forbidden to pray and deliver services. Such an example in Turkey already exists - the Saint-Sophia Cathedral, which has been turned into a museum. Being Ankara's hostage the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul asked the authorities to give him one day annually for praying in the church and this is an evidence for desecration of the temple," Manoyan underlined.

Thus, Giro Manoyan thinks that official Ankara from the one hand tried to show that he makes a positive step towards Armenian, and from the other hand Armenians are forbidden to pray there. "Archbishop Mutafyan during inauguration underlined that the church has not functioned over 90 years but always has been and is a temple. We shouldn't view the reconstruction of the church positively.

Turkey officially invited Armenian in the inauguration ceremony purely for propaganda purposes. It should have met the Armenian delegation on the border and not to make them reach Van via Georgia. The stance of Armenian Patriarch, as well as Catholicoses of Echmiadzin and Great House of Kilikia made Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister add that it was a church and not only a "historical monument".

"I think following this propaganda move aimed at the world community we must take actions in order to prove that it is forbidden to pray there. Renovation of the Holy Cross Church as a "monument" must not serve Turkey's intentions for abolishing the fact that Armenians were the native population of Western Armenia," Giro Manoyan stressed. - By

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