Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew Sunday inaugurated a new church and Orthodox cultural center in Alanya, a district of popular vacation resort Antalya. The church comes at a time as more Russian and Ukrainian tourists flock to the seaside town both as tourists and residents. Bartholomew presided over a mass at the opening of the church.
The patriarch said the Virgin Mary Church and the Orthodox Cultural Center were built with contributions from Sotirios Trambas, an archbishop of the Orthodox church for Antalya and the Mediterranean Turkish and Russian communities in Antalya. "We wish this beautiful church to be a source of peace. Alanya was long deprived of an Orthodox population after the population exchange. The Orthodox presence here was revived by the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox community," the patriarch said, referring to the relocation of the Orthodox population in Turkey after World War I.