Turkey constructs special boats for a religious mass to take place in an Armenian church on Akdamar Island in the eastern province of Van, a local ship constructer said on Wednesday.
Boat owners in Van are not only working to increase the security and comfort of passengers they will carry to the island for the religious mass on September 19, but also constructing new boats in European Union (EU) standards.
"I have almost constructed two boats, and I have been asked to construct another," local ship constructer Suat Belek said.
Belek said there would be a lavatory, kitchen and a lounge on the boats.
It takes more than two months to construct a boat, which costs around 65,000 Turkish liras-TL (42,000 USD).
Also, the head of Akdamar Island Motorized Vehicle Cooperative said they would allocate almost 40 boats for the religious ceremony.
Moreover, Van's Governor Munir Karaloglu told reporters about preparations for the religious mass, and said local executives would inform the Armenian community, who had laid down some demands, about which demands they would meet.
Karaloglu said the the patriarch of Armenian in Turkey would conduct the religious mass.
The governor said local executives would do everything in their power to host people who came for the religious mass in the best way.
The 1,100-year-old Akdamar Church was opened in 2007 at a ceremony that hosted officials from Armenia and Turkey after it was restored by the Turkish government. The restoration costed some 1.7 million USD.
The Akdamar Church was constructed by architect bishop Manuel between 915 and 921 A.D. under the supervision of King Gagik I. Among the important pieces of Armenian architecture, the church draws attraction with its stone workmanship and the relieves on its walls.
Earlier this March, Turkish government gave permission for a single-day religious that would take place once every year at the church upon a proposal by the Van Governor's Office and approval by Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay.
The rite at the Akdamar Church will take place each year in the second week of September.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 14 Temmuz 2010, 17:49