Turkey restores an Armenian churc in Kars
Turkey has launched a project to conserve an ancient Armenian cathedral and church in what is seen as a gesture of reconciliation toward its neighbor. Turkey says it is committed to improving ties with Armenia and has already restored the 10th-century Akdamar church, perched on a rocky island in Lake Van in eastern Turkey. It has also allowed once-yearly worship at the site as a gesture to Armenia and its own ethnic Armenian minority. The new project was being launched in partnership with the World Monuments Fund to conserve the remains of the cathedral and the Church of the Holy Savior in Ani (40 kilometers from the eastern Turkish city of Kars), said Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay onTuesday . "Ani, which is of global significance, presents particularly complicated challenges," he said. The culture minister did not say whether Turkey would also allow prayers at Ani once the restoration is complete.