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Ancient Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Under Threat
By Menekse Tokyay
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Perched on rocky hillside on the outskirts of Mardin in southeastern Turkey, the Mor Gabriel Monastery has been a cultural and religious centre of the ancient Syriac [also known as Assyrian and Chaldean] people for more than 1600 years. But in a controversial decision that will likely bring the case to the Constitutional Court and European Court of Human Rights, Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled the land belonging to the monastery is occupying state lands and should be given to the Treasury. "Declaring that the Treasury is the rightful owner of these lands, this final verdict issued by the Supreme Court of Appeals has no reasonable grounds given historical and legal facts," Tuma Celik, the representative of Turkey within the European Syriac Union, told SES T

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