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A Chance for Reconciliation in Diyarbakir

Bilgin Ayata

Bilgin Ayata explores the significance of restoring Diyarbakir’s Armenian Church of St. Giragos.

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August 2016


A Chance for Reconciliation in Diyarbakir

Left to ruin after the Armenian Genocide, St. Giragos--once one of the largest Armenian churches in the Middle East--reclaimed its title with the support of the city’s Kurdish mayor and funding from the Armenian diaspora and reopened as place of worship after undergoing major renovations in 2011. At the time this was seen by many as a hopeful sign of reconciliation. Dr. Bilgin Ayata uses the case of the church in Diyarbakir as a possible example of how the Turkish government could confront the neglected Armenian history and presence in Turkey.

Produced by AGBU WebTalks in partnership with the Zoryan Institute.


Dr. Bilgin Ayata is lecturer at the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy at Freie University Berlin. Born and raised in Germany, she holds a MA from York University and a PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. Her writings address issues of internal displacement, Kurdish transnational politics, and the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Ayata has published in New Perspectives on Turkey, Middle East Report and Journal of Contemporary European Studies.