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, Romanized as Surp Asdvazdadzin Egeghetsʿi), is located in the Tepebaşı district of Gaziantep in Turkey.[1] It was built as an Armenian church, but, after the Armenian genocide, it was converted into a storage building and later, it was converted into a jail.[1] Sarkis Balyan, the Ottoman-Armenian architect of Sultan Abdulhamid II, designed the church. Construction started in 1892, undertaken by the stonemason Sarkis Taşçıyan.[2] The church was part of a complex which also contained a school and the administrative buildings of the dioceses of the kaza of Antep.[3]

In 1915, almost all of the Armenians of Gaziantep were deported to Syrian desert during the genocide.[4] The church stood empty until the 1920s, when it was used as a prison. It remained a prison into the 1970s[5] until it was converted into a mosque in 1986.[1] 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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Fisk, Robert (2016-10-15). "A beautiful mosque and the dark period of the Armenian genocide". The Independent. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  2. ^ Thomas A. Sinclair: Eastern Turkey. An Architectural and Archaeological Survey. volume 4. The Pindar Press, London 1990, p. 111
  3. ^ Osman Koker, "Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago", Istanbul 2005, p267.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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