Mardin Governorate officials denied on Friday claims in the media that it had confiscated properties belonging to the southeastern province's Assyrian community, including churches, monasteries and cemeteries, and then transferred them to the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB).
An official from the governorate told Daily Sabah the claims are untrue and that DİB had also rejected the claims on their official Twitter account.
Several media outlets had reported on June 23 that after the Mardin Municipality had switched to the status of metropolitan municipality, a committee had decided to confiscate properties that had lost the status of corporate ownership and their right to use was then transferred to DİB.
On June 23, DİB rejected the claims on their official Twitter account: "The reports claiming that properties such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries were transferred to our Presidency are completely untrue."
Minorities in Turkey had long been treated as second-class citizens in the 20th century. The government's democratization package announced a few years ago looks to change the state's view of minorities and restore the rights denied them. Then prime minister and current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced in 2011 that hundreds of properties that were confiscated from minorities over the years would be returned and compensation would be paid for properties the state later sold to third parties.