Liberation Mosque

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 Armenian Genocide.[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


  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

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