The land of the historic Mor Gabriel Monastery will be returned to the Syriac [Assyrian] community in Turkey as part of the "democratization package" announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today, while the package fell short of meeting the expectations that the Halki Seminary could be reopened. "The land of the Mor Gabriel Monastery will return to the monastery's foundation," Erdoğan promised today, while declaring a wide range of reforms on democracy. "In fact, our government has shown a great sensitivity in this issue throughout the [Turkish] Republic's history and has made serious efforts in return for such rights. We have taken sincere steps with regulations we made about the removal of such injustices in 2003, 2008 and 2011 and we received concrete results. We have returned more than 250 [properties], costing more around 2.5 billion Turkish Liras to the original owners," said Erdoğan. Erdoğan also said that they would continue to return the properties of minorities without occasioning the suffering of others.
Editor's note: click here for complete coverage of the St. Gabriel Monastery case.