Ramazan Çelik - Mehmet Ezer - Mustafa Ercan / Istanbul, April 13 () - Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter with masses in churches across Turkey and the world April 12, commemorating the day followers believe Jesus was resurrected 2,000 years ago.
Roman Catholics and Protestants marked Easter on April 5, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrated Easter on April 12 using the older Julian calendar.
The Greek Orthodox community gathered for a mass at the Fener Orthodox Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul’s Balat neighborhood, performed by Patriarch Bartholomew in the Saint George Church. The mass was attended by locals as well as visitors from Greece and other parts of Europe.
Easter masses were also performed in other Turkish cities with small Christian populations, such as in the southern provinces of Hatay and Mersin. Chairperson of the Foundation of Antakya Greek Orthodox Church Fadi Hurigil and the church’s spiritual leader, Jan Deluller, performed the mass in the church in Hatay. Prayers were read and fireworks were fired in the garden as part of the celebrations.
Hatay Governor Ercan Topaca attended the breakfast organized at the Antakya Orthodox Church as part of the Easter celebrations and underlined the importance of respect for all beliefs and religions.
‘Respect to religions’
“As Muslims, we deeply respect your religion. Our state and people take it as a duty to prepare the conditions for you to practice your religion. I want to express that we are very happy to be with you and to show this unity to our people and to the rest of the world” he said.
Hatay Deputy Mayor Serdar Güven, Antakya Mayor İsmail Kimyeci, Defne Mayor İbrahim Yaman, Provincial Mufti Hamdi Kavillioğlu and Provincial Police Chief Ali Doğan Uludağ were among the other invitees.