Armenian church Surp Giragos in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır was reopened yesterday after 32 years.
The church’s bell was demolished in 1915, as it was taller than the minarets of all mosques in the area. A bell similar to the original one has been reconstructed and rang out today after 97 years of silence.
The first rite was conducted today by Turkey vice-patriarch Aram Ateşyan, who called for interfaith peace and dialogue.
Worshipers from the United States, Armenia and Canada participated in the rite and the opening ceremony.
The restoration project was launched in 2010 by the Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation, with contributions from the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality.