New step in Turkey-Armenia relations

Surp Hac Church in Akdamar

Surp Hac Church in Akdamar

Last October Turkey and Armenia sit down and make new agreement on bilateral relations and future relationship between neighbour states and long time enemies. This agreement open diplomatic relations and borders in last few months; and now Turkey is ready to show little bit more of good will towards Armenia. State officials in cooperation with local representatives in Eastern city of Akdamar decide to held religious service for Christian Orthodox believers in Surp Hac Church. According to local officials mass which will be held on September 19th will be the first religious ceremony in this Museum-Church in a several decades.

Church complex is already prepared for upcoming festivities, just days before September 19th cross will be mounted on the Church’s dome but bell tower will remain empty and silent. After this years ceremony complex will remain as museum until the new decision from state governments decision; regional governor said to local newspapers that service will be held on annual basis until they get new regulations from Ankara.

Armenian Church representatives especially Patriarch Mesrob II and Archbishop Aram Ateshian supported those activities and they take a great part in preparations for upcoming mass at the Surp Hac Church.

Van governor Munir Kraoglu is convinced that this event will bring new improvement in Turkey-Armenia relations; he also said that beside mass his region will held a Turkish-Armenian Culture Day celebration and they would continue for 10 days. Because Church complex in not big enough to accommodate all visitors from Armenia organization committee will mount LED monitors outside of the building and that will give a chance to everyone to take a part in ceremony. Media representatives will be equipped with all necessities and broadband internet services in effort to share great moments of celebrations all over the region and the world.

Turkish government through local authorities will continue works on rehabilitation and reconstruction of Armenian sacred complexes in this region on Charpanak Island and in Bakracli; they believe that works on both location would be done in soon future.