16/03/2020

TURKEY: Diyarbakir municipality forgets to clean Syriac church and Alewite Cemevi on Coronavirus

Omid / Diyarbakir – Against the backdrop of the global spread of Corona-virus, the Diyarbakir municipality held a massive cleaning and sterilization campaign in all mosques of the city in southeastern Turkey. But it “forgot” the Alewite place of worship (“cemevi”) and the Syriac church of the city.

Municipal cleaners and health workers preventively cleaned and sterilized all mosques but did not clean the third century Syriac Orthodox St. Mary Church administered by Syriac priest Fr. Yusuf Akbulut. Commenting on the negligence of the Diyarbakir municipality Fr. Yusuf Akbulut expressed his deep disappointment on the matter in the press; “This is discriminating on the basis of religion. The St. Mary Church is a historical Syriac church. It is in full use and is visited by many visitors and tourists every year.”

After the commotion in the press the municipality sent a cleaning crew to the church and to the Alewite cemevi.

The Diyarbakir municipality is managed by a mayor of the ruling AKP of President Erdogan after the democratically chosen HDP mayor was removed without specific reason.