1st church built in Republic of Türkiye opens its doors

1st church built in Republic of Türkiye opens its doors

Opening of church marks historic day, says head of Syriac Kadim Foundation

By Irem Demir and Mehmet Yusuf Melikoglu

ISTANBUL (AA) - The first-ever church built in Türkiye since the establishment of its republic in 1923 opened its doors to worshippers on Sunday with an event attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the church in the district of Yesilkoy district on Istanbul's European side, Sait Susin, president of the Istanbul Syriac Kadim Foundation, said the opening of the Mor Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church marked a historic day.

Underlining that the church was being opened on the centenary of the Republic of Türkiye, Susin said that all people of different faiths in the country, including Assyrians, had experienced many firsts over the past 20 years.

The foundation for the church was laid at a 2019 ceremony, also attended by Erdogan.

It was designed as a five-story project in an empty area of a Latin Catholic Cemetery in Yesilkoy.

One floor was reserved as a cultural hall for the community to meet after mass or ceremonies, such as baptisms, funerals, and weddings, as well as for meetings and conferences. On the ground floor are the bishop's quarters, guest rooms, and a parking lot.

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