Surp Sarkis Armenian Church in Diyarbekir

500-year-old Armenian Church in Diyarbekir to Be Renovated

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ISTANBUL (Public Radio of Armenia) — The 500-year-old Surp Sarkis Armenian Church in Diyarbekir will soon undergo major renovations, Anadolu Agency reported on June 4.

One of the historical Armenian churches in Diyarbekir, it is located in the Sur district and is owned by the Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation. It had fallen into disrepair due to a lack of a congregation and sustained damage during the twin earthquakes on Feb. 6, 2023.

The renovation project, approved and funded by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, aims to revive the church and will officially begin this month.

Speaking to Anadolu, Cemil Koc, head of the Culture Ministry’s Directorate of Surveying and Monuments in Diyarbekir, said the church is classified as a first-class monumental structure.

It is the second-largest Armenian church in Diyarbekir, after the Surp Giragos Armenian Church, Koc added.

“The structure consists of five naves parallel to the apse, featuring wide arches and a wooden-beam, earth-covered roof. The women’s gallery, known as the last congregation area, has suffered damage to its columns and arches due to recent earthquakes and human factors.”

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“Our renovation work aims to revive the church and contribute to the tourism of our region and country,” Koc said.

He added that the renovation project began in 2021, with comprehensive surveys, renovation, structural, mechanical, and electrical plans approved by the conservation board in 2022.

However, after the earthquakes, the church was found to have sustained severe damage, Koc said.

The ministry, he said, provided a grant 5 million Turkish lira ($154,000) for this year to initiate the renovation process.

 

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