Nehna, a discussion platform for Turkey’s Orthodox-Christian community, on Monday called for financial support to rebuild churches in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay heavily damaged after the 6 February earthquakes.
The historic Church of Saint Nicholas in İskenderun district, the Church Of Saints Peter And Paul in Antakya district, and the Greek Orthodox Church in Arsuz district are among the Orthodox places of worship that Nehna listed for rebuilding.
Hatay’s Antakya district, known as Antioch in Roman and Medieval times, has been home to Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. Antakya’s Saint Pierre Church, built in a cave, dates to 38-39 AD is in UNESCO’s tentative world heritage list.
Hatay’s multicultural heritage and minority communities are at risk due to the massive destruction caused by the disaster.
The priest of the Church of Saint Georgios, in an interview with Deutsche Welle described how at the market in Antakya, there were shops side by side belonging to Jewish, Christian, Sunni, and Alevi owners.
The impact of the tremor hit heritage sites as well as these places of worship in the earthquake area. Gaziantep Castle suffered heavy damage, a fortress built by the Hittite Empire, while the condition of UNESCO-listed Mount Nemrut has not yet been assessed due to whether conditions.