Friday, November 20, 2020

Chora Monastery: So Is It a Mosque or a Museum?


The decision of the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey, DIYANET, to postpone the official first prayer for the conversion of the Monastery of Chora into a mosque, which was scheduled for Friday, October 30th, has caused concern and conflicting information. As an official reason, it was announced "that the opening of the Kariye Mosque in the Fatih district of Istanbul to worship has been postponed to a later date due to the continuity of the preparations."

However, the Turkish travel news agency "" in a post claims that the work has stopped. In fact, the relevant article, citing a tour guide in Istanbul, states that the curtains that covered the beautiful mosaics have been removed, as well as the pulpit dismantled, and the carpet that was laid out for prayer no longer exists.

Friday, November 13, 2020

A Miracle of Saint John Chrysostom in Sri Lanka for a Buddhist Child


In November of 2007 the sacred skull of Saint John Chrysostom was brought from Vatopaidi Monastery on Mount Athos to Cyprus on the occasion 1600 years since his repose, and during this time many miracles of the Saint were reported, among which is the following.

A former Buddhist from Sri Lanka who had converted to Orthodox Christianity in Cyprus and was recently baptized, prayed fervently before the sacred skull of Saint John Chrysostom as she venerated him, begging his aid on behalf of her dying nephew in Sri Lanka.

Friday, October 23, 2020

When Two Turkish Muslims, a Journalist and an Architect, Visited Mount Athos


Two Turkish Muslim professionals visited the Greek monastic peninsula of Mount Athos a few years back and related their experiences to the Turkish press.

According to the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet (published on June 8th, 2014), journalist Ertugrul Ozkok along with architect Ali Esad Göksel, who both visited Mount Athos for a period of three days after receiving authorization from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself, said the following:

"Like most Turks, I first heard about Mount Athos in the work Aynaroz Kadısı by Musahipzade Celal. After I discovered it, I read enough and wanted to go. Eventually I went with the help and the permission of the Patriarch.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Hagia Sophia to be Turned into a Center of Knowledge About Islam


The President of Religious Affairs in Turkey, Imam Ali Erbas, presented his plans last weekend and those of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Hagia Sophia, which he promotes as a Symbol of Conquest and the Sovereignty of Islam. At the same time, the Turkish President describes the decision on Hagia Sophia as "a harbinger of a new era in world politics."

"After 86 years of longing, we have experienced the happiness of returning Hagia Sophia to its original identity," Erdogan told the Clerics, adding: "We have lived from the early years of our youth hoping to hear the call for prayer from the minarets of Hagia Sophia. The opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque was the sweetest fruit we tasted after 86 years of a fair, democratic and patient struggle."

He even referred to the opening of the Soumela Monastery, which, according to Erdogan, showed that Turkey has no complex in terms of religious freedom.

Monday, September 7, 2020

After Refusing to Preserve It, Turkish Islamic Foundation Demolishes a Historic Greek Orthodox Church in Bursa

The Church of Saint George, which was restored and transformed into a cultural center by the Nilüfer Municipality in Bursa, was taken from the municipality and transferred to an Islamic Foundation. The historical building, which was neglected for seven years, was destroyed on September 1st, Gazete Duvar reported.

The Greek Orthodox Church, which was estimated to have been built in 1896, was converted into a mosque after the exchange in 1923, but became abandoned because it was not used after the Yeni Özlüce Mosque was built. The Nilüfer Municipality, which took on the historical building in 2006, restored the building within the scope of the project approved by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Board and opened it into service as the Özlüce Culture House in 2009. When the building was abandoned, it was restored by the Nilüfer Municipality and transformed into Özlüce Kultürevi.