Christians in Turkey mark Easter with masses
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Patriarch Bartholomew performs a mass for Easter at Saint George Church in Istanbul. DHA photoChristians celebrated Easter with church masses in several cities across Turkey on April 20.
The Greek Orthodox community gathered for a mass at the Fener Orthodox Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul’s Balat neighborhood, performed by Patriarch Bartholomew in the Saint George Church. The mass was attended by locals as well as visitors from Greece and other parts of Europe.
Easter masses were also performed in cities with small Christian populations, such as in the southern provinces of Hatay and Mersin.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated the Christian community of Turkey on the occasion of Easter.
“Turkish and Christian citizens lived together for centuries and we shared our joy and sadness. I wish peace to all Christian citizens on the occasion of Easter, which we aware is very important for Christian believers,” Erdoğan said in a message.
Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek also expressed his wish that “all Christian citizens in Turkey celebrate Easter in bliss.”
“Different religions in Turkey have coexisted peacefully in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust for centuries and played a crucial role in the establishment of such universal values as humanism, solidarity and tolerance in our society,” Çiçek added.