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TURKEY: THE GIANT MOSAIC

TURKEY: THE GIANT MOSAIC

Turkey is a mosaic formed by all the communities that passed by and stayed. The long history it has the many civilizations is made of, many communities from different cultures and religions are living in Turkey and Turkey has been its home for thousands of years. They left many cultural effects, religious landmarks and still living their traditions here in this giant mosaic. Let’s look into one of these communities: The Christians.

Rums

Two thousand Orthodox Greek Cypriots living in Fener Patriarchate in Turkey. The administration of the Fener Greek Patriarchate is provided by the patriarch and the synod (supremecouncil). The Patriarchate has four metropolitan centers in Turkey. These are Kadıköy, Tarabya, Adalar and Gökçeada-Bozcaada.

Armenians

Armenians living in Turkey constitute the most crowded community among Christian groups.The great majority of the Armenian population, about sixty thousand, lives in Istanbul. The majority of the Armenians belong to the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul.There are three metropolitans in Kayseri, Diyarbakır and İskenderun. There is also a metropolitan area in Istanbul.

Apart from the Armenians who are affiliated to the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate, there are Catholic and Protestant Armenians separated from the main church.

Assyrians

There are three groups in Assyrian groups in Turkey. These are the members of the Assyrian Kadim, Assyrian Catholic and Assyrian Orthodox churches. The number of Catholic and Protestant Assyrians is very small. The vast majority of the members of the Assyrian Kadim Church live in our province of Mardin. The Assyrian population in this city has decreased considerably as a result of migrations to Istanbul. The Assyrians in Turkey are affiliated to the Syrian Sham Patriarchate, and the religious affairs are governed by the Prime Minister.

Arab Orthodox

Antakya is connected to the Patriarchate. For many years, this patriarchate had been exposed to Byzantine pressures because it did not adopt the views of Istanbul Patriarch in the early church debates.Today, around seven thousand Arab Orthodox people in Turkey live, mostly in Hatay. Apart from Hatay there are few Arab Orthodox in Adana, Mersin and Istanbul.

In Turkey there are 5.300 churches, 2 600 schools, 650 monasteries, 570 chapels, 180 monasteries, 50 orphanages, 25 hospitals linked to these Christian comunities. The largest number of Armenian constructions are in Muş (401), Bitlis (325) and Elazığ (323), while the three provinces with the most Greek constructions are in İzmir (454), İstanbul (369) and Trabzon (359).

Apart from Christian comunities, the three provinces with a higher number of Jewish are Hakkari (275), Mardin (181) and Diyarbakir (46), with the largest number of Jewish constructions in Istanbul (154), İzmir (54) and Edirne (27).

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