Sunday, 15 December

Turkey Plans to Renovate Mosques in Samtskhe-Javakhk

Georgians to renovate churches in Turkey according to bilateral agreement
Recently, reports have appeared in the Georgian and Turkish press regarding a draft agreement allowing Ankara to renovate three mosques and construct a new one in Georgia. In turn, Tbilisi will be given permission to rebuild four old Georgian churches in Turkey. The Georgian press says that the mosques in question are located in the Samtskhe-Javakhk region of Georgia. Hetq asked Samvel Karapetyan, a specialist in Armenian architecture and cultural monuments, what mosques are actually located in the Georgian region. He said that there was just one throughout Javakhk. It’s an 18th century mosque located in a walled fortress community outside Akhalkalak. Mr. Karapetyan assumed that this was the one slated for repair. The expert said the others were probably located in the Akhaltskal district were more mosques are to be found, even though most were destroyed during the Soviet era. Mr. Karapetyan believes that the Georgian authorities are interested in receiving Turkish money for mosque restoration. He commented that Armenians should focus their attention on Tayk, where the Georgians want to renovate Armenian monasteries and present them as Georgian churches.

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