Justin Vela

Back from Armenian mass in Van…

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Inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Akdamar Island, Turkey. 19 September 2010.

ISTANBUL- This past Sunday, 19 Sept. 2010 the Turkish-Armenian Church was allowed to say a mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island in eastern Turkey for the first time since 1915.

I was on the island to cover the event. While one article and a photo/audio slide show will be published later this week, I did a curtain raiser on the controversial mass for Aol News that you can read here.

From the article:

Exacerbating the debate is the cross that once crowned the conical dome of the historic Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Turkish authorities initially said a cross would be installed in time for the service, but now have reneged on the promise, to the outrage of Armenians.

Read the full article here

The event at the 10th century church, despite its location on gorgeous Lake Van, seemed to underscore the frozen conflict between Turkey and Armenia. Some people were positive about the possibility of the event advancing relations between the two countries. Others only wanted to focus on the church, one of the last remaining pieces of ancient Armenian architecture in eastern Anatolia.

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Written by Justin Vela

September 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

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