Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Turkey visits Armenian Church in Kayseri
LONDON – COMBINED SOURCES (23 August, 2013): The British Ambassador in Turkey paid an unofficial visit to the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Kayseri (Caeserea / Gesarya). Built in 1856, St Gregory is the only Armenian church in Anatolia where liturgical services are still held. Ambassador Sir David Reddaway lit a candle in the Church and made a donation to the church fund, as reported by Doğan News Agency.
Few Armenians still live in ancestral Gesarya. Over the decades the once vibrant Armenian community has dwindled to about 30 members, spread in the surrounding villages and small towns.
Ambassador Reddaway noted during his meeting with journalists that difficulties had emerged during history between the Armenian and Turkish peoples. He hoped that these could be resolved through talks between Armenia and Turkey. The British chief diplomat pointed out that such Armenian structures on Turkish territory are testaments to the once peaceful existence of the peoples of the two countries in the past.
Sir David Reddaway has been British Ambassador to Turkey since 2009. He was previously Ambassador to Ireland (2006-9); High Commissioner to Canada (2003-6); UK Special Representative for Afghanistan (2002); and Charge d’Affaires in Iran – where he had earlier served during the Iranian Revolution – from 1990-3.