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01/27/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  According to recent reports, Turkey continues to neglect and monetize historical churches. In one instance, a kebab seller hosted a barbecue at an Armenian church in Germus. The church had long been forcibly abandoned as treasure hunters and others illegally excavated the property. For nearly a century the local Christian population has appealed to the government to restore the place of worship.

In another incident, an Armenian catholic church in Bursa was put up for sale for 6.3 million liras, around $800,000 USD. Originally built for the local Armenians, the historic church has been utilized for commercial purposes for nearly 100 years. The advertisement hails the place of worship as “Historical church that can become a culture and art center/museum/hotel in Bursa”. Turkish Parliamentarian Garo Pylan, who is of Armenian descent, voices his disapproval saying, “Can the place of worship be sold? How can society and state allow this? Shame on you!”

The mistreatment of these churches come after the 2020 decisions by President Erdogan to convert Hagia Sophia and Chora Church. To learn more about Turkeys abuse of Christians and churches, read ICC’s joint report here.

For interviews, please contact Alison Garcia, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]