Europa Nostra Award ceremony was held in Istanbul because of the ongoing curfew in Diyarbakir. Speaking at the ceremony, Diyarbakir Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation Chair Ergun Ayık said, “We wish we held this ceremony in our church. We miss the good old days.”
The debates that started after the urgent expropriation decision, which involves the churches in Diyarbakir, made the history of Sur, Suriçi a current issue. Having an important role in the history of Anatolian Armenians and Christians, Diyarbakir, and especially Suriçi, have been at the center of such practices throughout its history. Zakarya Mildanoğlu tells about the story of Suriçi churches and the expropriation history of Diyarbakir.
The expropriation decision made by the cabinet in Sur province of Diyarbakir caused disquiet. Stating that the cabinet should correct this decision, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan said that they demanded a meeting with Minister of Environment Sarı. Lawyer of Surg Giragos Church Ali Elbeyoğlu said, “The execution of this decision shouldn't be under the initiative of the government. We will appeal this decision. The decision of the cabinet should be corrected by the cabinet itself.”
General Directorate for Foundations Director Adnan Ertem spoke about the urgent expropriation decision taken by the cabinet. He said, “We want to preserve the historical structures.”
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, Syriac, Chaldean and Protestant churches are also expropriated.
Yetvart Danzikyan went to Diyarbakir for “News Watch” and reported from there.
The curfew and the clashes that follow it continue in Sur province of Diyarbakir. There have been intermittent curfews in Sur since September 6. There is a ban on entering or leaving the province. Civilians were killed and many buildings in the province are damaged.
Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Kamuran Yüksek told about the process that led to ditches and concerns of the people in the region. Yüksek thinks that if things go on like this, there might be no negotiation process again.
While the curfew in Sur ended today after nine days, the entire region, which is in the UNESCO World Heritage List, hangs by a major threat.