Christians in Turkey celebrate Christmas
Christmas, one of the holy days of the Christians, was celebrated with ceremonies held in different provinces of Turkey.
The ritual in Aya Yorgi Church in the garden of the Fener Greek Patriarchate was administered by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew.
The ceremony was attended by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias as well as Christian citizens and guests from Greece.
The passages were read from the Bible and chants were sung during the ritual.
St. Antoine Church on İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul was flocked of citizens and tourists before the Christmas ceremony. Those who came to the church took pictures in front of the tree set up for Christmas.
Visitors made wishes for the Christmas and New Year by lighting candles inside the church.
In the historic Assyrian Church of the Virgin Mary in Diyarbakır province, the Christmas ceremony was held under the direction of Pastor Yusuf Akbulut.
In addition to Christian citizens living in Diyarbakır, representatives of non-governmental organizations and guests from abroad, the Christian citizens lit candles and prayed.
The ceremony of the Russian Orthodox community, which accepted the death date of St. Nicholas as Dec. 19, was held at St. Nicholas Memorial Museum in Demre province of Antalya province.
The ceremony was directed by Georgiy Sergeev, Turkey representative of the Moscow Patriarchate and included three clergymen from Russia and members of the Moscow Music Academy Music Choir.
About 250 Russian citizens from Russia and Antalya attended the ceremony.
After the speeches, blessed bread and water were served to the participants.