No visits to ancient Duhok monastery due to Turkish bombing

1/17/2023 10:15:54 AM
 Mar Qayyum monastery on mountain's edge
Except for a few people who provide maintenance and services at the Mar Qayyum monastery in the Kurdish region of Iraq, no one is allowed to visit the site.

The monastery, considered being one of the oldest monasteries in this region of Iraq, is currently closed due to Turkish bombing in the area.

Turkish warplanes often conducted airstrikes near the monastery, targeting suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

For safety and security reasons, villagers have decided that visitors will not be allowed at the monastery.

"We don’t allow people to come because it is a risk," said Shelimoun Asnia, a Christian man from the area.

The monastery, which sits on a mountain's edge in the Christian village of Dore, is close to the Turkish border.

The area gets exposed to frequent Turkish airstrikes, and Turkish warplanes are flying overhead and observing it around the clock.

Several Christian pilgrims have been exposed to artillery shelling in the past years while trying to visit the monastery and the mountain.

Many of the Christian communities of northern Iraq are some of the oldest of the faith.

The Mar Qayyum monastery is believed to date back to the forth century but the building itself has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.

The last time the two-floor monastery was renovated was in 1999.

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