Foreigners in Turkey’s Muğla demand place of worship
MUĞLA – Doğan News Agency
Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakır province. DHA PhotoForeigners living in the Aegean province of Muğla have requested that the authorities build suitable places of worship in order to allow them to better practice their beliefs.
The Solidarity with Foreigners Living in Muğla Association is keen on building churches and cemeteries for foreigners in the touristic province in southwestern Turkey.
Halil Karanfiloğlu, the head of the association, said foreigners who have settled in the area currently gather in hotels or apartment building basements if they want to worship.
Christine Yönet, a German married to a Turkish man who has lived in the resort town of Marmaris for 27 years, said she has trouble practicing her religion as a Christian.
“I’m a Christian and I have difficulty practicing my religion here. We don’t have a worship house to celebrate our religious festivals or to pray. There are thousands of foreigners living in Marmaris and we want a church,” she said.
Charlotte Tannurhan, a British woman married to a Turkish man who has lived in Marmaris for 31 years, agreed that a church was necessary. “Tourists who come here in the summer also need a worship house. I hope this problem will be solved soon,” Tannurhan said.
Karanfiloğlu said there are around 35,000 foreigners settled in Muğla and its districts.
“The majority of foreigners in Muğla are Christians, but they have to practice their religion in hotels or in the basements of apartment buildings they have rented. We have to call a priest from Antalya or İzmir when somebody dies, and there is also a need to allocate a cemetery area for foreigners here,” he said.