Ankara: The foundation stone for the first new church in Turkey since it became a modern republic in 1923 was laid by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, August 3.
The church in the Istanbul suburb of Yesilkoy will serve the 17,000-strong Syriac Christian community.
Speaking on the occasion Erdogan is reported to have said, “It is the Turkish republic’s duty to meet the need for space to worship for the Syriac community, who are the ancient children of this geography.”
He hoped that the construction of the Syriac Orthodox Mor Ephrem Church would be completed within two years.
As reported by CAN, Erdogan had ordered the Istanbul metropolitan municipality to find space for the building in 2009 while he was prime minister.
Statistics show 0.2 per cent of the Turkish population is Christian.