CHURCHES

Church/Christianity in Turkey

Christianity has a long history in Anatolia (Asia Minor) and Armenian Highland (now part of Turkey), which is the birthplace of numerous Christian Apostles and Saints, such as Paul of Tarsus, Timothy, Nicholas of Myra, Polycarp of Smyrna and many others.

The percentage of Christians in Turkey fell from 19 percent in 1914 to 2.5 percent in 1927, due to events which had a significant impact on the country’s demographic structure, such as the Armenian Genocide, the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and the emigration of Christians (such as Levantines, Greeks, Armenians etc.) to foreign countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas) that actually began in the late 19th century and gained pace in the first quarter of the 20th century, especially during World War I and after the Turkish War of Independence. Today there are more than 250,000 people of different Christian denominations, representing less than 4 percent of Turkey’s population, including an estimated 100,000 Oriental Orthodox, 38,000 Roman Catholics, 20,000 Antiochian Greeks, 10,000 Greek Orthodox and smaller numbers of Protestants (Mostly ethnic Turkish) There is also a small group of ethnic Orthodox-Christian Turks (4,000, mostly living in Istanbul or Izmir) who follow the Greek Orthodox or Syrian Orthodox church. They are often confused with ethnic Greeks. Some of them actually have a Greek background, but there are ethnic Turks, who never converted to Islam in the history between this population. Currently there are 236 churches open for worship in Turkey. The Eastern Orthodox Church has been led by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, still based in the city which the Turks call Istanbul, since the 4th century.

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Akdamar Church

Akdamar Church;One of the islands of Lake Van, Akdamar, along with its Church and Cathedral of the Holy Cross is an important center for Christianity.

Aya Yorgi Church

Aya Yorgi Church; It is thought that the church within the Alanya Castle, was constructed by Byzantium during VIth century A.D

Church of Saint Pierre

Church of Saint Pierre; The Church of St. Pierre, located at the foothills of Mt Pilgrimage (Hac Dağı) in Hatay province is one of the most significant centers of Christianity.

Hagia Eirene

Hagia Eirene; Hagia Eirene contained within the courtyard of Topkapi Palace was built in the 4th century. The church, dating back to the Byzantine period, has maintained its original structure up to the present day as it was not turned into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul.

Cradle of the Saints

Cradle of the Saints; The biblical city of Antakya (Antioch), once the third largest city in the Roman Empire, was the headquarters of St.Paul’s missionaries and the base for several missionary journeys.

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas Church (Kale – Demre); Myra (Demre) is known as the place where Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus (Father Christmas) in Christianity world, had performed his duty as a bishop.

St. Paul Church and Well

St. Paul Church and Well; The St. Paul Church is located in Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul one the 12 apostles of Jesus, and is candidate for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

St. Peters Grotto

Hatay – St. Peters Grotto (Antakya); The followers of Jesus were first called Christians in (Antakya) Antioch. Paul and Barnabas were sent on their first missionary journey from this cave church. They sailed from Seleucia Peria.

The Church of Virgin Mary

The Church of Virgin Mary; The Church of Virgin Mary, considered to be a holy site according to Christians, is located near the top of Bülbül Mountain near to the town of Selçuk in Izmir province, one of the bluest cities in the Aegean Region.

The St. Nicholas

The St. Nicholas; The St. Nicholas Church, located in Antalya and of great importance to Christians, was established by the time St. Nicholas, also called Santa Claus, had died.


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Churches of the Armenian rite

  • Church of the Apparition of the Holy Cross (Kuruçeşme, Istanbul)
  • Yerevman Surp Haç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Archangels Armenian Church (Balat, Istanbul)
  • Surp Hıreşdagabed Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Cross Armenian Church (Kartal, Istanbul)
  • Surp Nişan Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Cross Armenian Church (Üskudar, Istanbul)
  • Surp Haç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Hripsimiants Virgins Armenian Church (Büyükdere, Istanbul)
  • Surp Hripsimyants Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Apostolic Church (Bakırköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Beşiktaş, Istanbul)
  • Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Eyüp, Istanbul)
  • Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Ortaköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Yeniköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Asdvadzadzin Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Resurrection Armenian Church (Kumkapı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Harutyun Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Resurrection Armenian Church (Taksim, Istanbul)
  • Surp Harutyun Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Three Youths Armenian Church (Boyacıköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Yerits Mangants Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Galatasaray, Istanbul)
  • Surp Yerrortutyun Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Narlıkapı Armenian Apostolic Church (Narlıkapı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Hovhannes Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Elijah The Prophet Armenian Church (Eyüp, Istanbul)
  • Surp Yeğya Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Garabed Armenian Church (Üsküdar, Istanbul)
  • Surp Garabet Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. John the Baptist Armenian Church (Uskudar)
  • St. John The Evangelist Armenian Church (Gedikpaşa, Istanbul)
  • Surp Hovhannes Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. George (Sourp Kevork) Armenian Church (Samatya, Istanbul)
  • St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Galata, Istanbul) active
  • St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Kuzguncuk, Istanbul)
  • Surp Krikor Lusaroviç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Karaköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Gregory The Enlightener (Kınalıada, Istanbul)Armenial Church
  • Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. James Armenian Church (Altımermer, Istanbul)
  • Surp Hagop Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Nicholas Armenian Church (Beykoz, Istanbul)
  • Surp Nigoğayos Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Nicholas Armenian Church (Topkapı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Nigoğayos Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Santoukht Armenian Church (Rumelihisarı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Santuht Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Saviour Armenian Chapel (Yedikule, Istanbul)
  • Surp Pırgiç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Sergius Armenian Chapel (Balıklı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Sarkis Anıt Mezar Şapeli active
  • St. Stephen Armenian Church (Karaköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Istepanos Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Stephen Armenian Church (Yeşilköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Istepanos Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Takavor Armenian Apostolic Church (Kadıkoy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Takavor Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Saints Thaddeus and Barholomew Armenian Church (Yenikapı, Istanbul)
  • Surp Tateos Partoğomeos Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Vartanants Armenian Church (Feriköy, Istanbul)
  • Surp Vartanants Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • The Twelve Holy Apostles Armenian Church (Kandilli, Istanbul)
  • Surp Yergodasan Arakelots Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastea Armenian Church (Iskenderun, Hatay)
  • Surp Karasun Manuk Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. George Armenian Church (Derik, Mardin)
  • Surp Kevork Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Kayseri)
  • Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Ermeni Kilisesi active
  • St. Gregory The Enligtener Armenian Church (Kırıkhan, Hatay)
  • Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Kilisesi active
  • St. Giragos Armenian Church (Diyarbakır)
  • Surp Giragos Ermeni Kilisesi St. Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır (2008) active
  • Cathedral of Ani ruins,protected
  • Cathedral of Kars Kars Church Of The Apostles converted into a mosque
  • Cathedral of Mren ruins
  • Holy Apostles Monastery Arakelots Monastery – 5-17 c. ruins,destroyed
  • Horomos The Monastery of Horomos ruins
  • Karmravank (Vaspurakan) Karmravank Armenian monastery ruins
  • Kaymaklı Monastery ruins
  • Khtzkonk Monastery ruins
  • Ktuts monastery abandoned
  • Varagavank ruins,protected
  • Narekavank no trace, mosque build on top
  • Saint Bartholomew Monastery ruins,protected
  • Saint Karapet Monastery ruins,mostly destroyed
  • St. Marineh Church, Mush ruins
  • St. Stepanos Church ruins
  • Tekor Basilica Tekor Basilica in an 1840s destroyed
  • Armenian church in Vakıflı
  • Vakıflıköy Ermeni Kilisesi Vakifli active

Churches of the Byzantine rite

  • Bulgarian St. Stephen Church active
  • Church of St. George, Istanbul active
  • Church of St. Mary of Blachernae (Istanbul) active
  • Church of St. Mary of the Mongols active
  • Meryem Ana Church active
  • St. Demetrius Church in Feriköy, Istanbul active
  • Church of Christ Pantepoptes (Constantinople) Converted into a mosque
  • Church of Christ Pantokrator (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Church of Hagia Thekla tu Palatiu ton Blakhernon converted into a mosque
  • Church of Hagias Theodosias en tois Dexiokratus converted into a mosque
  • Church of Hagios Theodoros (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Church of Saint John the Baptist at Lips (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Church of Saint John the Baptist en to Trullo (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Church of Saint Nicholas of the Caffariotes (Istanbul) converted into a mosque
  • Church of Sergius and Bacchus converted into a mosque
  • Church of the Theotokos Kyriotissa (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Monastery of Gastria converted into a mosque
  • Myrelaion converted into a mosque
  • Pammakaristos Church Pconverted into a mosque
  • Saint Andrew in Krisei converted into a mosque
  • Chora Church converted into a mosque, museum
  • Hagia Sophia converted into a mosque, museum
  • Church of the Holy Apostles demolished, Fatih Mosque build on top
  • Hagia Irene museum
  • House of the Virgin Mary museum
  • Sümela Monastery museum
  • Church of the Virgin of the Pharos ruins
  • Kuştul Monastery ruins
  • Monastery of Stoudios One of the exterior facades of the St. John Stoudios (Imrahor) ruins
  • Palace of Antiochos ruins
  • Church of St Nicholas of Myra(Santa Claus) (Demre) ruins,museum

Churches of the Georgian rite

Locations of some of the Georgian churches.
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes (Turkey) (tr) (Bomonti Gürcü Katolik Kilisesi) active
  • Oshki (Öşki Manastırı/Öşk Vank/Çamlıyamaç) abandoned
  • Khakhuli Monastery (Haho/Bağbaşı) converted into a mosque
  • Doliskana (Dolishane/Hamamlıköy) abandoned
  • Bana cathedral (Penek) Bana, ruins
  • Tbeti Monastery (Cevizli) ტბეთი, 1888 – ruins
  • old Georgian Church, Ani ruins
  • Ishkhani (İşhan) 171. ishxani. gumbaTis protected
  • Parkhali (Barhal/Altıparmak) Пархали, Тао, Турция. converted into a mosque
  • Khandzta ruins
  • Ekeki ruins
  • Otkhta Eklesia (Dörtkilise) Otkhta abandoned
  • Parekhi ruins
  • Makriali St. George church, Kemalpaşa, Artvin Makriali St. George Georgian Church, Hopa dist., Lazistan – ruins
  • St. Barlaam Monastery of Antioch (Barlaham Manastırı), Yayladağı St. Barlaam Georgian Monastery of Antioch, Yayladağı, ruins
  • Ancha monastery ruins
  • Okhvame, Ardeşen Ruins of Georgian church in Ardeşen, Rize, ruins
  • Tzkarostavi monastery Tzqarostavi Tskarostavi ruins
  • Opiza ruins

Churches of the Syriac rite

  • Mor Sharbel Syriac Orthodox church in Midyat active
  • Mor Gabriel Monastery active
  • Mor Hananyo Monastery active

Roman Catholic Churches

  • Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Istanbul Pope Benedict XV active
  • St. Anthony of Padua Church in Istanbul S. Antonio di Padova, active
  • Cathedral of the Annunciation, İskenderun active
  • Co-Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua, Mersin active
  • St. John’s Cathedral, Izmir St. John’s Cathedral (RC), active
  • Church of St Peter Antioch Saint Pierre Church museum
  • Church of San Domenico (Constantinople) converted into a mosque
  • Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul İstanbul – Sen Piyer Kilisesi Karaköy active

Anglican churches

  • Christ Church, Istanbul Crimean Memorial Church active
  • St. John the Evangelist’s Anglican Church, Izmir