TURKEY: Zafaran Monastery calls for Turkish state to act and have historical Mor Yuhanon Church in Mardin opened for worship

MERDO (MARDIN), Turkey – The leadership of the Deir Zafaran Monastery (Syriac: Dayro d-Zafaran) has published a written statement on the controversy over the sale of the 1700 year-old Syriac Orthodox Church of Mor Yuhanon (St John) in Merdo, asking for the ancient church to be opened for worship.

The 1,700-year-old Syriac Orthodox Church is located in Merdo’s Teker District and was put up for sale on a local real estate website on October 5th for 7,250,000 TL. The church, which is designated as cultural property by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was already put up for sale five years ago but was not sold.

The property has been in use for business purposes for years.

The leadership of the Dayro d-Zafaran has now issued a written statement on the controversy demanding the Turkish state to act;

“We demand from the authorities, within the scope of the constitutional right of freedom of religion and conscience and by finding a middle ground, that the Mor Yuhanon Church, which has an importance in the history of our state, be opened for public worship by the relevant institutions and by Murat Aycun, who holds the church title.”

For the Article in Turkish: Gazete Sabro