A group of Armenians were to be allowed to worship
in a church on Akdamar Island, Turkey, on Sep. 19, 2010. The church building dates back to the 11th Century. It was restored in 2007 and turned into a museum.
It was expected that hundreds of people would attend the service. Akdamar Island is in Lake Van, in the eastern part of the country.
Some people believed the permission to use the church to be a goodwill gesture from the government. Others did not, as the government has not acknowledged the mass death of Armenians in eastern Turkey in 1915-1916 as a genocide. It has tended to refer to the deaths as due to the effects of World War I.