A ceremony was held for the opening of the station, which cost TL 150,000 and will power the artificial lighting for the entire island. Prior to the ceremony, the Van Governor’s Office and DAKA held an iftar, or fast-breaking dinner, for the guests who arrived on the island by boat.
Speaking at the ceremony held in front of the Akdamar Memorial Museum, Governor Münir Karaloğlu noted the significance of the project for both Van and the country and stressed the importance of historic venues. Pointing out that numerous historic buildings in the city are being renovated, Karaloğlu assured listeners that the city of Van will become a rising star in the tourism sector in the near future, particularly after restoration projects are completed. He announced that they are planning to reach a target of 1 million foreign tourists and 3 million domestic tourists by 2023. “What we see this evening is not only about the illumination of an island. Using solar energy to illuminate the island will also help us to draw attention to the potential for solar energy in Van,” he said.
Worship at the Akdamar Museum
Van Governor Karaloğlu also noted that there will be a religious service at the Akdamar Memorial Museum, a former Armenian church, on Sept. 19. “As you all know, there will be a service on Sept. 19 after a space of one century. I believe that this service will be a great step towards greater freedom of religion and conscience. We, as the city of Van, have made preparations to accommodate the guests who will be arriving in Van for the service to ensure that they are satisfied with their stay. We will extend a hand of fraternity and friendship to our Armenian citizens, who were our neighbors and friends in the past,” he said.