The Council of State granted a motion for stay of execution for expropriation of Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Sur district of Diyarbakir.
After the clashes that took place last year, the cabinet decided to launch urgent expropriation in Sur on March 21, 2016.
Surp Giragos Church, the largest Armenian church in Middle East, Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, Armenian Catholic Church, St. Mary Syriac Church and Protestant Church were among the places that were planned to be expropriated.
Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation appealed to Council of State for stay of execution and annulment of the expropriation. Reviewing the appeal, 6th Chamber of Council of State granted a motion for stay of execution.
The foundation reminded that the expropriation is against the law and the Council ruled for annulment many times. It was noted that Surp Giragos Armenian Church is an immovable cultural and natural property and the decision that was taken by cabinet is against the Law on the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property and Treaty of Lausanne.
The ministry hasn’t responded
6th Chamber of the Council addressed some question to Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, which is the executive of the project. The Chamber asked about the current state of the church, how it is used, whether it is an immovable cultural property and how it will be used if it is expropriated.
The Council of State noted that the ministry hasn’t provided any response.
Pointing out that the main building and other structures of the church constitute a whole, the Council ruled for stay of execution unanimously.
With this ruling, the Ministry won’t be able to carry out the expropriation.
Other churches waiting
In addition to Surp Giragos Church; Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, Armenian Catholic Church, St. Mary Syriac Church and Protestant Church were among the places that were planned to be expropriated. These churches have also appealed to the Council of State.