Religious minorities gather to pray for soldiers
The representatives of the Christian minorities in Turkey on Oct. 20 gathered in a religious ceremony at the Deyrülzafaran Monastery to support Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring” in northern Syria.
Zeki Basatemir, the chair of the Syriac Catholic Foundation; Orhan Çallı, deputy patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church; Yusuf Çetin, the Syriac Orthodox Church’s metropolitan for Istanbul and the capital Ankara; Corc Kasapoğlu, envoy of the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Sahak Maşalyan, head of Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, were among the attendees alongside Jewish community representative Yusuf Altındaş and Chaldean Catholic Community spiritual leader François Yakan.
Governor Mustafa Yaman and provincial mufti İsmail Çiçek also took part in the ceremony in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin.
Following the prayers for the safe return of the Turkish soldiers taking part in the operation and displaced Syrians, a message sent from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was read to the crowd.
Saliba Özmen, the Syriac metropolitan bishop for Diyabakır and Mardin, said that love would make the biggest contribution to peace.
“We have prayed for peace and soundness in our region and our country with our heavy and wounded hearts in this holy mass,” he said.
“As the diverse parts of the Turkish society, our common duty is to live in peace and fraternally with unity and amity while saving our differences,” he added.