Around 109 thousand tourists have visited Aghtamar island in Van, Turkey, over the past nine months of the current year. As Ermenihaber reports, the number of tourists visiting the island this year has increased by 25.5% against the number in the indicated period of the previous year.
According to the source, the tourist summer usually pens in summer months in Van, where visitors attend mainly the Armenian Holy Cross Church of Aghtamar – a medieval Armenian Apostolic cathedral, built as a palatine church for the kings of Vaspurakan in the tenth century and later serving as the seat of the Catholicosate of Aghtamar.
The majority of visitors are Iranians, the news outlet writes, remind of the church history that underwent a controversial restoration program and was opened in 2007 to serve as a museum. The opening ceremony was attended by the Turkish minister of culture. It is noteworthy that a liturgy is allowed to hold in the Church once in a year, yet over the past two years the practice has ceased due to regular clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants.
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