A religious ceremony was held on September 11 at the historical Armenian Church of Akdamar in Van, Turkey. This is the second religious ceremony to be held at the church since its restoration by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey in 2007.
The ceremony, led by Archbishop Aram Atesyan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, was attended by approximately 3,000 people. Since the completion of the restoration work, which reportedly cost $1.5 million, Armenians from Turkey and across the world have visited Akdamar as a sacred heritage site. The church is expected to be regularly opened to special religious services under the direction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey.
The Church of Akdamar was built in 915-921 AD. The church is one example of many Christian heritage sites Turkey has restored in recent years.