A kebab chef in southeast Turkey enraged eyewitnesses after he hosted a barbecue inside of an abandoned church in southeast Turkey's Şanlıurfa district on Jan. 14.
Dating back to the 19th century and located about 10 kilometers from the nearest settlement, the Germuş Armenian Church has become a spot for squatters since its abandonment, one local noted.
"Treasure hunters destroyed this place. Now, people come here to drink, or grill kebabs," Dağyanı Neighborhood resident Übeyit İnci said, urging the state to swiftly restore the ancient structure.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Garo Paylan also slammed the chef's abuse of the ruins in a tweet.
"I don't know what to say, shame!" Paylan said.
Kilisemde mangal partisi yaptılar.— Garo Paylan - Կարօ Փայլան (@GaroPaylan) January 14, 2021
Yazıklar olsun! https://t.co/nuZATNBhiz
One local responded to Paylan's tweet with more photos of the structure, adding that they've been trying to rally public support to save the church to no avail, and that it has essentially been left to rot.
Ben defalarca burda yazdım malesef yıkılmaya terk edılmış germuş kılisesi içim parçalanıyor sn vekilim pic.twitter.com/KXH8IgBPFb— Ame21Can (@can_ame21) January 14, 2021
Ancient churches across Turkey have been condemned to similar fates as minority populations dwindle across the country after the foundation of the republic in 1923.