Diyarbakir welcomes Armenians: `Welcome home!’ (PHOTO)

news.am, Armenia
Oct 22 2011

Diyarbakir welcomes Armenians: `Welcome home!’ (PHOTO)

October 22, 2011 | 10:01

VAN. – The Armenians, who arrived in Diyarbakir, Turkey, to attend the
reopening of, and first Holy Mass at, the city’s St. Giragos Armenian
church, were surprised by the posters placed in Diyarbakir streets.

Diyarbakir City Hall had placed posters that read `Welcome to Your
Home,’ in Armenian, together with the image of St. Giragos church. And
the sign that reads `Welcome,’ in Turkish, Kurdish, Assyrian, and
Armenian, can still be seen in the city’s entrances, Armenian
News-NEWS.am’s correspondent reported from Van, Turkey.

Not too many visitors have come from Armenia to take part in St.
Giragos’ reopening and the Holy Mass to be celebrated there. This
notwithstanding, a considerable number of Diaspora Armenians has
arrived. In his interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am’s correspondent,
Diyarbakir’s Deputy Mayor noted that, according to their information,
around 2,000 Armenians have come to their city from different
countries.

Reopening and consecration of St. Giragos, which is one of the largest
churches in the Middle East, will take place on Saturday while the
first Holy Mass will be celebrated on Sunday.

The church was left to its fate after 1980, but Diyarbakir Armenians
who now live in Istanbul established the St. Giragos Fund in order to
restore the church. This Armenian fund paid 70 percent of the
restoration costs, worth $2.5 million dollars, and the Diyarbakir City
Hall paid the remaining 30 percent.

St. Giragos will reopen as a functioning church.

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