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Saint Nicholas Church

Saint Nicholas Church in Bodrum

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The church built in the Ottoman period

The Ottomans granted the Greek community permission to build several chapels and a large Christian church, construction completed in 1870. In addition the Ottoman sultans repeatedly issued “Fermans” (decrees) – permits for renovating buildings for the Greek religious community.

Approximately at the same years, Moslem mosques Tepeсik (located on a hill), Kelerlik (apparently in this place are the lizards, keler – lizard), Türkkuyusu (near the Turkish source, kuyu – source). One mosque named after Mustafa-Pasha from Kızılhisar. These mosques are still open to parishioners.

In those days, people much more tolerant, therefore, Christian churches and mosques coexisted peacefully in Bodrum. And the inhabitants respected different traditions and rituals.

Greek-Turkish heritage exchange and empty church

In 1923, after war as a result of the forced exchange of the population of Greece and Turkey, Greeks left Bodrum. Instead of them, Turks from the Crete came to Bodrum. According to the peace agreement, ceased to be Turkish. The “Greek” quarter turned into “Cretan”.

Bodrum people live peacefully with the Greeks despite different faiths. And although the faith of newly arrived Turks habits and behavior stayed different. Bodrums looked at them warily, calling them “semi-giauras” (semi-Gentiles).

Over time, differences disappeared. The balance of the communities established in the city, but there was no one to pray in the church.

Church today

In 1969, the Turkish authorities announced that there is a threat of destroying the building. Which at that time was already 185 years old. In addition, church is completely inconsistent with the traditional urban architecture of Bodrum, does not meet the standards of aesthetics. As a result, the corresponding superstructures and “correction” of the external appearance of the room made for the general architectural style of the city. Until 2012 the building was used to accommodate Center for Public Education. Located in the heart of the tourist zone, the building in summer used as a point of the lop-trade, where souvenirs and cheap knick-knacks selling.

In early 2013 decided to start restoration work to restore the appearance of the church. It is planned that the premises will used as a congress hall during the winter period. It can attract additional tourists and in non-season as well as an exhibition gallery. Restoration and construction work stopped till now.

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