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Elder member of Diyarbakır Armenian community dies at 86

Sarkis Eken, an 86-year-old known as one of the oldest Armenians born and residing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, passed away at Dicle University’s hospital, where he was receiving treatment, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Ekenwas born in 1930 in the Başbuk village of Diyarbakir’s Silvan district and was living in the Meryem Ana Assyrian Church in its central Sur district for 55 years.

He lived out his final years alone after losing his wife of 65 years, Baydzar Eken, in 2014, only two months after their official civil marriage.

His funeral was initially planned in Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Sur’s Fatihpaşa neighborhood, but the venue was changed due to the curfew in Fatihpaşa.

The one-hour ceremony, which was orchestrated by priest Yusuf Akbulut of Meryem Ana Assyrian Church, was attended by Diyarbakir Church spiritual leader Ahmet Güvener, Sur deputy mayor Azize Değer Kutlu from the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), local authorities,  artists and Eken’s relatives and friends.

Priest Akbulut said the ceremony would have been attended by many more from both Turkey and abroad if there were not any ongoing clashes in Sur district. He added that Eken was a beloved man who always aimed at being a good person.

Eken was laid to rest in the Christian church in Diyarbakır’s Urfakapı district.

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