Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds

Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds
Syriac Orthodox Christians have welcomed the Turkish government’s return of 55 title deeds, representing nearly half of their ancient church properties in southeast Turkey, which had been confiscated by the state in recent years. Fifty of the official property deeds were delivered to the Syriacs’ 4th century Mor Gabriel Monastery . . . Read More

Turkey’s Churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine

Turkey’s Churches publish landmark book of common Christian doctrine
A joint commission of Turkey’s major Christian denominations has published an historic book of concise Christian doctrine, receiving the unprecedented endorsement of all the nation’s Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian, Syriac and Protestant Churches. According to Armenian Bishop Sahak Masalyan, keynote speaker at the formal book launch in Istanbul of the English . . . Read More

Turkish state blocks election of a new Armenian Patriarch

Turkish state blocks election of a new Armenian Patriarch
For the sixth time since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the government of constitutionally “secular” Turkey has openly intervened in the selection of a new Armenian Patriarch to lead the nation’s largest Christian community. Now estimated at less than 40,000, Turkey’s Armenian community – located primarily in . . . Read More

Bomb scare intimidates another church in Turkey

Trabzon church in a 2007 photo (World Watch Monitor)
Turkish police were called to Trabzon’s Santa Maria Catholic Church on Sunday morning (4 February) to examine a smouldering device spotted in the garden by alarmed church staff. After discovering a partially burned homemade pipe bomb, which had failed to explode, local authorities promptly checked the church’s security camera footage. . . . Read More

Istanbul Patriarch ‘losing sleep’ over closed Orthodox seminary

Istanbul Patriarch ‘losing sleep’ over closed Orthodox seminary
Istanbul’s Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew II admitted last week that he is “losing sleep” over the long-delayed opening of the Holy Theological School of Halki. The historic seminary is located on an island hilltop, an hour’s ferry ride from Istanbul. One of the most prestigious seminaries in Eastern Orthodoxy, the Halki . . . Read More

Turkish court blocks US Christian’s deportation

Turkish court blocks US Christian’s deportation
David Byle preaching in Turkey.World Watch Monitor   Turkey’s Constitutional Court intervened promptly this week to block temporarily the pending deportation and re-entry ban ordered against a US citizen active in Christian ministry in Turkey for the past 17 years. Without the high court’s provisional ruling, Canadian-American David Byle would . . . Read More

‘No Christmas or carol singing’ orders in Santa Claus’ homeland Turkey

‘No Christmas or carol singing’ orders in Santa Claus’ homeland Turkey
Istanbul Erkek Lisesi, also known as Istanbul High School, Istanbul 2011© Guillaume Piolle / CC “No more Christmas celebration and/or lessons on Christmas including carol singing is permitted, effective immediately”. An email on 13 December sent to about 35 German-funded teachers at Istanbul Erkek Lisesi (also known as Istanbul High . . . Read More