The Holy Trinity (Sourp Yerrortutyun) Armenian Church in Malatya held the first religious service in 106 years on Sunday.
The church, which closed in 1915, is located in the neighborhood where assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink had grown up.
The Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, Archbishop Sahak Mashalyan and Grigoriyos Melki Urek, the Metropolitan Bishop of Adıyaman and Surrounding Provinces and the Deputy Patriarch, as well as the mayor and governor of Malatya, attended the opening ceremony.
“The opening of the Surp Yerrortutyun Church is a milestone for this region. For the Armenians of Malatya, this opening is a day of the feast,” said the Patriarch.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Nuran Gezdirici, the chair of the Malatya Armenian Culture and Solidarity Association, who said the reopening of the church is a great pride. She commemorated Hrant Dink noting that he had grown up “two streets away from the church.”
Armenians from across the country also attended the opening ceremony.
The construction of the Sourp Yerrortutyun (Holy Trinity) Armenian Church began in 1878 with the participation of a Greek architect and Armenian stonemasons, and was completed in 1893. The dome of the church was destroyed in an earthquake of 1893. The building was repaired between 1905-1907. After 1915, the church building was used as barracks and a prison.
The dome of the church burned in a fire in 1969. The church was in ruins. In 2010, the restoration of the building was planned by the order of the Governor of Malatya, Ulvi Saran. Construction work began in 2012. Work on the project was stopped due to technical problems and lack of funding.
In 2021, restoration works were completed under the chairmanship of Malatya Mayor, Selahattin Gürkan. Malatya’s HAYDER association also participated in the process. HAYDER also provided financial support for the restoration of the church’s altar/ dome section and the baptistery.