Turkey’s Sumela Monastery reopens after restoration
The Turkish president on Tuesday reopened the country's historic Sumela Monastery in the Black Sea province of Trabzon via video link.
ORTHODOX CITIZENS WILL BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE VIRGIN MARY SERVICE
Speaking at the event, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rebuffed criticism over reopening of Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia as a mosque last week.
“If we were a nation targeting the symbols of other beliefs, the Sumela Monastery which we have had for the last five centuries, would be gone forever,” Erdoğan said.
“On Aug. 15, our Orthodox citizens will be able to perform the [Litany of the Blessed] Virgin Mary religious service, which was suspended during the restoration period at the Sumela Monastery," he added.
Restoration works at the majestic monastery have been completed after landscaping, investigation, and strengthening of the geological and geotechnical maintenance of rocks were carried out at the monastic complex.
One of Turkey's most important faith tourism centers, it partly opened to visitors in May 2019 after more than three years of restoration efforts, which began in February 2016.