Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds

Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds
Syriac Orthodox Christians have welcomed the Turkish government’s return of 55 title deeds, representing nearly half of their ancient church properties in southeast Turkey, which had been confiscated by the state in recent years. Fifty of the official property deeds were delivered to the Syriacs’ 4th century Mor Gabriel Monastery . . . Read More

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner

Chaldean Patriarch congratulates surprise Iraqi election winner
The Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Sako, has telephoned Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to congratulate him on his unexpected victory in the country’s recent parliamentary elections. The Patriarchate also said that Sako told Sadr he hoped for a government that promotes the common good of all the Iraqi people. According to . . . Read More

Legal limbo of Turkey’s Syriac Christian properties still unresolved

Legal limbo of Turkey’s Syriac Christian properties still unresolved
Over the past five years, legal ownership of at least 100 ancient Syriac Christian properties in Turkey’s southeast has been seized and transferred to the Turkish state treasury, where the title deeds still remain. The government-confiscated properties include two functioning monasteries, including adjacent lands to the 4th century Mor Gabriel . . . Read More

Turkey seizes six churches as state property in volatile southeast

Turkey seizes six churches as state property in volatile southeast
The 1,700-year-old Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church in Diyarbakir was one of the churches seized.World Watch Monitor   After 10 months of urban conflict in Turkey’s war-torn southeast, the government has expropriated huge sections of property, apparently to rebuild and restore the historical centre of the region’s largest city, Diyarbakir. . . . Read More

Syriac priest wrestles with Turkey’s ethnic tensions

Syriac priest wrestles with Turkey’s ethnic tensions
In the courtyard of the 1,700-year-old church over which he presides, Fr. Yusuf Akbulut beams with pride. He points out that the excellent stone and woodwork is a result of the craftsmanship of his ethnic group, the Syriac Christians of Turkey. “The Syriacs were always the goldsmiths, metal workers, stone . . . Read More