The Armenian Cathedral in Aintab turned into a Mosque after the Turkish “Restoration”

The Armenian Cathedral located in Aintap, which is now known as Gaziantep, has undergone significant changes after a so-called “restoration” by the Turkish government. The restoration process involved the demolition of the chapel, replacing it with a minaret, removing the cross from the dome, and replacing it with a crescent.

The cross on the facade was covered with a rough plaster, and inside the church, the image of the Armenian cross was covered with an enormous Turkish flag that hung from the dome to the floor. Additionally, all the church buildings surrounding the cathedral were demolished.

The Turkish government’s actions have caused significant outrage among the Armenian community, both in Turkey and around the world. Converting a Christian church into a mosque is a clear example of religious discrimination and intolerance. Furthermore, the destruction of the chapel and other church buildings is a violation of historical heritage and cultural identity.

The Armenian Cathedral in Aintap was a symbol of Armenian culture and history in the region. It was built in the 14th century and was one of the oldest churches in the city. The church was a significant pilgrimage site for Armenians and attracted visitors from all over the world. However, the Turkish government’s decision to convert it into a mosque has deprived the Armenian community of its cultural heritage and religious identity.

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million Armenians, and many of their cultural and religious sites were destroyed or confiscated. The Turkish government’s decision to convert the Armenian Cathedral into a mosque is seen by many as another attempt to erase the Armenian presence in Turkey and to deny the Armenian people their cultural identity.

It is crucial to remember that Turkey is a secular state, and the government should respect the rights of all religious groups. The Turkish government’s actions against the Armenian Cathedral in Aintap are a clear violation of religious freedom and human rights. This incident highlights the need for international organizations to take action against religious discrimination and intolerance.

In conclusion, the conversion of the Armenian Cathedral in Aintap into a mosque by the Turkish government is a severe violation of religious freedom, cultural heritage, and human rights. It is essential to recognize and respect the cultural and religious diversity of all communities, and governments should work towards preserving historical sites and promoting tolerance and understanding among different religious groups.

Vigen Avetisyan

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