Maltepe Municipality open to church construction

  • Written by:

Maltepe Municipality Mayor Ali K?l?ç has said he is open to accepting a proposal for the construction of a church in his municipality, according to a report by the Taraf daily.
“Whether Armenian or from the Syriac community, if they feel the need for a church and if they have put in a request to us, we will do everything within our power to fulfill this wish,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mayor K?l?ç told the daily.

?stanbul Syriac Kadim Church Foundation Vice President Kenan Gürdal, who has been granted permission by the ?stanbul Metropolitan Municipality for the construction of a church in the Ye?ilköy neighborhood, applauded the mayor’s proposal but turned the offer down for now, explaining: “We keep an equal distance from all political parties and have always maintained communal [harmony]. We are very thankful for a municipality [run by] the CHP to give us an opportunity like this. However, because we do not have a congregation in Maltepe, if a church were to be constructed it would by empty, so we will not apply [for such a project] at the moment. But, if our congregation increases in that area in the future, we hope this offer will still be available.”

The Syriac community of ?stanbul has had a long-standing request for authorities to allow the construction of a Syriac church in the city. The ?stanbul Metropolitan Municipality approved the request in December 2012, the first permit granted for the construction of a new church in the history of the Turkish Republic.