The government has earmarked a budget of TL 50 million ($17.26 million) for 13 historic buildings in the southeastern Turkey that were damaged in ongoing clashes between the PKK and security forces.
The Directorate-General of Foundations, the state-run agency responsible for restoring historical sites, drafted a plan to restore mosques, churches and other historic buildings that have been damaged in clashes in the southeast where PKK militants have carried out attacks since last summer.
The thirteen historic sites include buildings in Diyarbakır, the southeastern city that was the hotbed of attacks and counterterror operations for months after the PKK broke a cease-fire and resumed its campaign against the Turkish state. Hundreds of officers and civilians have been killed in the PKK attacks in Diyarbakır and other cities in the region that were heavily damaged in the clashes between the PKK and the military.
Diyarbakır is home to the majority of landmarks scheduled for restoration. Ulu Mosque, which was converted into a mosque from a church in A.D. 639 before undergoing a major renovation in 1091 by the Seljuks, and Fatih Paşa Mosque, the Ottomans' first major mosque built in the city in 1516, are among the sites to be restored within two years.
Director-General of Foundations head Adnan Ertem said they completed a public contract process for the restoration of Fatih Paşa Mosque and the Armenian Catholic Church and the restoration will start this week in those places while the contract process is underway for other sites.
The historic door of the Fatih Paşa Mosque, along with its windows were damaged, along with the walls of the building, when a fire broke out during a terror attack.. The attacks also left the Armenian Catholic Church's bell tower, several walls and the pastor's lodgings destroyed.