Liberation Mosque

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Holy Mother of God Armenian Church as depicted in a photograph in 1920.

Liberation Mosque (Turkish: Kurtuluş Camii), formerly the St Mary's Church Cathedral or Holy Mother of God Church (Armenian: Սուրբ Աստուածածին Եկեղեցի, Turkish: Surp Asdvazdadzin Kilisesi), is located in the Tepebaşı district of Gaziantep in Turkey. It was built as an Armenian Apostolic Church but, after the Armenian Genocide, was converted into a mosque. Sarkis Balyan, the Ottoman-Armenian architect of Sultan Abdulhamid II, designed the church. Construction started in 1892, undertaken by the stonemason Sarkis Taşçıyan.[1] The church was part of a complex that also contained a school and administrative buildings of the dioceses of the kaza of Antep.[2]

In 1915, almost all Armenians of Gaziantep were deported to Syrian desert during the liberation war.[3] The church stood empty and then was used as a prison around the 1920s. It remained a prison into the 1970s,[4] until it was converted into a mosque in 1980. The top half of the bell tower was demolished, the remainder converted into a single-balcony minaret. The bell, which was cast in the 19th century in South America, was taken to Gaziantep Museum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas A. Sinclair: Eastern Turkey. An Architectural and Archaeological Survey. volume 4. The Pindar Press, London 1990, p. 111
  2. ^ Osman Koker, "Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago", Istanbul 2005, p267.
  3. ^ Akçam, Taner (2012). The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity the Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 256. ISBN 1400841844.
  4. ^ Ungor, Ugur; Polatel, Mehmet (2011). Confiscation and Destruction: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property. A&C Black. p. 82. ISBN 1441130551.

Coordinates: 37°03′37″N 37°22′32″E / 37.06028°N 37.37556°E / 37.06028; 37.37556