(Panorama.am)- Turks have organized a barbecue feast in the historic Armenian Sourp Asdvadzadzin (Holy Mother of God) church in the village of Germush in Urfa Province, Turkish T24 news outlet reported on Thursday.
The church is said to have been built in the 19th century. It was last restored in 1881. The church was badly damaged as a result of illegal excavations.
The feast was organized by the owner of a restaurant in the churchyard, the source said.
Photos of the party shared on social media came into the spotlight in a short period of time.
Local residents said the church was destroyed as a result of illegal excavations with the use of excavators and other heavy equipment, asking the authorities to restore the historic building.
One of the residents living in the vicinity of the church, Ubeyit Inci, said treasure-hunters, in the hopes of unearthing riches, come to the church unusually at night, adding it’s the the local residents who protect the cultural heritage.
“Now those who want to buy alcohol or eat barbecue come here. We want the church to be restored,” he said.