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04/15/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  Construction is beginning to build a multi-level parking lot on land belonging to the Monastery of St. Efrem of the Syriac Catholic Church in Mardin. The land was confiscated by Mardin municipality in 1969 under the pretext of being a green space for the city.

The Syriac Catholic Foundation commented in a tweet that these actions were taken “knowing that the foundations of the historical building will be damaged and destroyed in that area.” The building, constructed in 1884, is considered a first-degree historical monument of the Assyrian Catholic community. Armenian HDP member of the Turkish Parliament, Garo Paylan, also questioned the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism about the construction.

Paylan also advocated against the construction on top of an Armenian Catholic cemetery in Ankara. The community struggles to address this issue, as it contradicts Mardin’s normal tourism verbiage that boasts of its religious diversity and peaceful co-existence of all cultures.

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