Setting the Record Straight: List of Churches in Turkey

(A.W.)–The recently appointed ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, responding to questions submitted by Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), made incorrect claims about churches in Turkey. We would like to provide some facts for the ambassador’s attention.

The St. Gregory The Enlightener (Sourp Krikor Lousavoritch) church is Istanbul

As Armenian Weekly readers know from a recent article published in the paper, the approximate number of Armenian churches in Ottoman Turkey prior to 1915 stands at 2,300, while the number of active Armenian churches in Turkey today is 34—28 in Istanbul, 6 in Anatolia. The article had further qualified that these numbers only represented Armenian Apostolic Churches under the jurisdiction of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate. When the pre-1915 number of numerous Armenian Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical churches are to be added to the 2,300 Armenian Apostolic Churches,  plus the Greek churches, plus the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches belonging to the various European communities in Ottoman Turkey, the number of Christian churches easily doubles up. It would take some research to define the exact number of the Christian churches prior to 1915; however, it is relatively easier to determine the number of active Christian churches in Turkey today.

The following list gives the Armenian churches still standing in Turkey, both in Istanbul and in Anatolia:

Armenian Apostolic Churches in Turkey

In Istanbul:

Christ The King Armenian Church (Kadıköy, Istanbul)

Church of the Apparition of the Holy Cross (Kuruçeşme, Istanbul)

Holy Archangels Armenian Church (Balat, Istanbul)

Holy Cross Armenian Church (Kartal, Istanbul)

Holy Cross Armenian Church (Selamsız, Üsküdar, Istanbul)

Holy Hripsimiants Virgins Armenian Church (Büyükdere, Istanbul)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Apostolic Church (Bakırköy, Istanbul)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Beşiktaş, Istanbul)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Eyüp, Istanbul)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Ortaköy, Istanbul)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Yeniköy, Istanbul)

Holy Nativity of the Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Bakırköy, Istanbul)

Holy Resurrection Armenian Church (Kumkapı, Istanbul)

Holy Resurrection Armenian Chapel (Taksim, Istanbul)

Holy Three Youths Armenian Church (Boyacıköy, Istanbul)

Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Galatasaray, Istanbul)

Narlikapi Armenian Apostolic Church (Narlıkapı, Istanbul)

St. Elijah The Prophet Armenian Church (Eyüp, Istanbul)

St. John the Baptist Armenian Church (Üsküdar)

St. John The Evangelist Armenian Church (Gedikpaşa, Istanbul)

St. John The Evangelist Armenian Church (Narlıkapı, Istanbul)

St. John The Forerunner Armenian Church (Bağlarbaşı, Uskudar, Istanbul)

St. George (Sourp Kevork) Armenian Church (Samatya, Istanbul)

St. Gregory The Enlightener (Sourp Krikor Lousavoritch) (Ghalatya, Istanbul)

St. Gregory The Enlightener (Sourp Krikor Lousavoritch) Armenian Church (Kuzguncuk, Istanbul)

St. Gregory The Enlightener (Sourp Krikor Lousavoritch) Armenian Church (Karaköy, Istanbul)

St. Gregory The Enlightener (Sourp Krikor Lousavoritch) (Kınalıada, Istanbul)

St. James Armenian Church (Altımermer, Istanbul)

St. Nicholas Armenian Church (Beykoz, Istanbul)

St. Nicholas Armenian Church (Topkapı, Istanbul)

St. Santoukht Armenian Church (Hisar, Istanbul)

St. Saviour (Sourp Pergitch) Armenian Chapel (Yedikule, Istanbul)

St. Sergius Armenian Chapel (Balikli, Istanbul)

St. Stephen Armenian Church (Karaköy, Istanbul)

St. Stephen Armenian Church (Yeşilköy, Istanbul)

St. Takavor Armenian Apostolic Church (Kadıköy, Istanbul)

Saints Thaddeus and Barholomew Armenian Church (Yenikapı, Istanbul)

St. Trinity (Sourp Yerrortutyoun) Church (Pera, Istanbul)

St. Vartanants Armenian Church (Feriköy, Istanbul)

The Twelve Holy Apostles Armenian Church (Kandilli, Istanbul)

Of the Armenian Apostolic Churches still standing in Istanbul, only 28 are active at present; the rest are closed due to lack of clergy and/or lack of congregation.

 

In Anatolia

Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastea Armenian Church (Iskenderun, Hatay)

Holy Mother-of-God Armenian Church (Vakıflıköy, Samandağ, Hatay)

St. George (Sourp Kevork) Armenian Church (Derik, Mardin)

St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Kayseri)

St. Gregory The Enlightener Armenian Church (Kırıkhan)

St. Giragos Armenian Church (Diyarbakır) (Under Reconstruction)

 

Armenian Catholic Churches in Turkey

St. Mary Armenian Catholic Church (Beyoğlu, Istanbul)

St. Jean Chrisostomus Armenian Catholic Church (Taksim, Istanbul)

St. Leon Armenian Catholic Church (Kadıkoy, Istanbul)

Assumption Armenian Catholic Church (Büyükada, Istanbul)

Armenian Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception (Koca Mustafa Paşa, Istanbul)

St. Saviour Armenian Catholic Church (Karaköy, Istanbul)

St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church (Ortaköy, Istanbul)

St. Paul Armenian Catholic Church (Büyükdere, Istanbul)

St. John the Baptist Armenian Catholic Church (Yeniköy, Istanbul)

Of the Armenian Catholic Churches in Istanbul, only the first four are active.

 

Armenian Evangelical/Protestant Churches in Turkey

Armenian Evangelical Church (Pera, Istanbul)

Armenian Evangelical Church (Gedik Paşa, Istanbul)

 

Until recently, the Armenian Church Foundations and the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate had great difficulty in preserving or protecting the church buildings and schools under their jurisdiction; there would be no permission from the government to carry out minor repairs or even paint the deteriorating church and school buildings. But there has been an improvement with the present government, which has restored the Holy Cross Church on Akhtamar Island on Van Lake, albeit as a state museum, and has given permission to the repair and reconstruction of a few historic churches, most notably the Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir.

To provide a complete picture of churches in Turkey today, we present below a lists of non-Armenian churches.

 

Greek Orthodox Churches

Fener Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate, Fener

Panagia Mugliotissa, H.Georgios Poteras, Fener

Aya Irini, Topkapı

Aya Yorgi, Büyükada

Hagios Poliektus, Topkapı

Havariyyun, Fatih

Kanli, Fatih

Nikolaos, Ayakapı

Kyriaaki, Kumkapı

Panagia Elpida, Kumkapı

Theodoros, Yenikapı

Panagiea, Altımermer

Menas,

Georgios,

Khristos Analepsisi,

Nikolaos,

Konstantinos,

Helene, Samatya

Panagia, Belgradkapı

Nikolaos, Topkapı

Demetrios, Sarmaşık

Georgios, Edirnekapı

Panagia, Salmatomruk

Panagia Hançeriotissa, Tekfursarayı

Panagia Suda, Eğrikapı

Panagia Blakherna, Demetios Kananou, Ayvansaray

Panagia Balinu, Taksiartes, Balat

Hpasaskave, Hasköy

Konstantinos ve Helene, Beyoğlu

Panagia, Galatasaray

Trias, Taksim

Panagia Evangelistria, Dolapdere

Demetrios, Athanisios, Kurtuluş

Dodeka Apostoloi, Feriköy

Hristos Metamorphosisi, Şişli

Panagia, Beşiktaş

Phokos, Ortaköy

Demetrios, İoannes Prodromos, Kuruçeşme

Taksiarkhes, Propethes Elias, Arnavutköy

Khralamsok, Bebek

Panagia Evangelistira, Boyacıköy

Taksiarkhes, İstinye

Nikolaos, Panagia, Yeniköy

Panagia Pege, Silivrikapı

Nikolaos, Georgios, Khristos, Büyükada

Trias, Hsypridon, Khristos, Heybeliada

Georgios, Khristos, Burgazada

Khrasitos, Kınalıada

Heuphemia, Trias (Aya Triada), Kadıköy

Hioannes Khrysostomos, Kalamış

Georgios, Yeldeğirmeni

Prophetes Elias, Üsküdar

Pantelemion, Georgios, Kuzguncuk

Georgios, Çengelköy

Hristos Metamorphosis, Kandilli

Konstantinos ve Helene, Paşabahçe

Paraskeve, Beykoz

Paraskeve, Konstantinos, Tarabya

Paraskeve, Büyükdere

İoannes Prodromos, Yenimahalle

Georgios, Khristos Analepsis, Bakırköy

Stephanos, Yeşilköy

Demetrios, Panagia, Prophetes Elias, Büyükada

Nikolaos, Prophetes Elias, Heybeliada

İoannes Prodromos, Burgazada

Panagia, Kınalıada

Georgios Metokhi, Fener

Georgios Metokhi, Yeniköy

Georgios Metokhi, Heybeliada

İoannes Prodromos Methokhi, Balat

Panagia Kaphatiane, Hnikolaos, İoannes Prodromos, Galata

Balıklı Hagia Kharalampos, Silivrikapı

Haigoi Anargiroi, Silivrikapı

Hristos Genesis, Arnavutköy

Although these Greek churches are still standing, very few are active as there are virtually no Greeks left in Turkey. The last census numbers indicate a population of less than 2,000, which means there are about 20 Greeks left for each Greek church in Turkey.

 

European Catholic Churches

Saint Benoit (French), Galata

Saint Esprit (French), Beyoglu

Saint Antoine(French), Beyoglu

Santa Maria (İtalian), Tünel

Sankt Georg (Austria), Karaköy

Saint Pierre et Saint Paul (French), Galata

Notre Dame de l’Assumption (French), Moda

St Augustine (French), Fenerbahçe

Czestochova Meryem Ana (Polish), Polonezköy
Anglican Churches

English Consulate Anglican Chapel, Galatasaray

Kirim Anglican Church, Beyoğlu

Pera Resurrection Church- Aynalıçeşme Beyoğlu

All Saints Anglican-Presbyterien, Moda
Protestant Churches

German Protestant Church, Tarlabaşı, Beyoğlu

Netherlands Consulate Dutch Chapel, Beyoğlu

Swedish Lutheran, Tünel

Istanbul Nehir Pentecostal, Harbiye

İstanbul Altıntepe Protestant, Altıntepe
Other Orthodox Churches

Russian Orthodox, Galata

Sveti Stefan Bulgarian Orthodox, Balat

In recent years, a few Christian churches have been created in resort areas such as Antalya and Bodrum, frequented by European retirees, but these are not recorded.

When responding to Sen. Menendez’s questions, perhaps the ambassador only relied on information provided by Turkish government sources, which could sometimes be unreliable on issues related to “past history” or to present concerns such as Christian missionary activities. One remarkable example of this is a January 2007 dated Turkish Security General Directorate circular, which indicated that while there were 77,777 mosques in Turkey at the end of 2006, the number of non-Muslim religious institutions had climbed to 373. The circular expressed concern that this number had increased greatly from 273 in 2005, mostly due to illegal missionary activities of Protestant Christians. Of the 373 recorded religious institutions, 321 were Christian churches, including 90 Greek Orthodox (75 in Istanbul), 55 Armenian (48 in Istanbul), 60 Assyrian, 3 Chaldean, 4 Bulgarian, 1 Arabic Orthodox, 53 Christian churches for foreigners, and 52 illegal Protestant Missionary churches. In addition, 36 Jewish Synagogues and 9 Jehovahs Witness temples were recorded. Interestingly, there were more than 900 “gathering centres” (cemevi) recorded for Alewites as cultural centers, since they are not recognized as belonging to an official religion.

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Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan is a civil engineer, writer and a concert pianist, living in Toronto. Proceeds from his concerts and CDs have been donated to the construction of school, highways, and water and gas distribution projects in Armenia and Karabakh—projects in which he has also participated as a voluntary engineer. Bedrosyan was involved in organizing the Surp Giragos Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Church reconstruction project. His many articles in English, Armenian and Turkish media deal with Turkish-Armenian issues, Islamized hidden Armenians and the history of thousands of Armenian churches left behind in Turkey after 1915. He gave the first Armenian piano concert in the Surp Giragos Church since 1915, most recently at the 2015 Genocide Centenary Commemoration. He is the founder of Project Rebirth, which helps Islamized Armenians return to their original Armenian roots, language and culture. He has appeared as a keynote speaker at numerous international conferences related to human rights, genocide studies and Armenian issues.
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19 Comments

  1.  Thank you , Raffi. An excellent service to the community, so that we may all speak on this matter with facts. Outrage with the facts is the best response.

  2. Dear Mr. Jamgochian,
    The Ktuts Monastery is under the control of the Van City government, which plans to restore it and open as a museum, similar to the Surp Khatch on Akhtamar Island. The Ktuts Island is called Charpanak Island in Turkish. The Van Governor also plans to restore the nearby Varakavank Monastery, in an effort to create a cultural and tourism centre in the Van region. These initiatives should be considered positive steps by the armenians, as they ensure protection and continuity of our heritage. Of course, there is no certainty that they will eventually be turned over to the rightful owner, the Armenian Church. However, there is certainty that they will be lost forever if they are not restored now, even if the political climate changes in the future. RB

  3. Raffi, thank you for the response! We shall see if what you say comes to fruition. Obviously there are good and bad in every society. There is always hope. Lord knows we Armenians are long on hope.   

  4. Raffi, Congratulations on the list of Christian Churches in Anatolia & Historic Armenia. More of this type info. should be brought out to Senators, Congressmen, the State Dept. & the President to show this country what the Turks have done to Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, & other ethnic Christians within the Ottoman Empire. Good Job. Stephan Dulgarian

  5. A more meaningful statistics would have been how many of those thousands of Armenian churches were built during the 600 years Ottoman rule-and Seljuk before that!  This would have given us some idea about the degree of brutal oppression of the Armenian religion and identity under the rule of those barbarian Mongols!

    Even more relevant question is if Armenians of Turkey have a shortage of Churches to attend? 

    You know the answers.

  6. Murat, I respectfully suggest that your logic is twisted. Jews built many synagogues in the Russian and German Empires–does that mean they were not oppressed during these times?

    The facts are clear: Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were subject to periodic looting and pillaging by Kurds and Circassians, without protection from the state, not to mention they were deprived of many rights such as the right to bear arms or testify in court. They were subject to excessive taxation, such as a poll tax, from which Muslims were exempt. And did we mention the full-scale massacres of 1894-6, 1909, etc.

    And it’s not as if churches built under Ottoman rule remained churches–been to the Ayasofia lately??

    “Even more relevant question is if Armenians of Turkey have a shortage of Churches to attend?”
    This statement is deeply offensive. You annihilate a population, and then you say “well, what do you need 2000 churches for now that there are so few of you??” (‘You’ in a hypothetical sense) Come on… 

  7. Your twisting and angry dancing around a simple answer to two simple questions makes my point.  It is also clear you get the point too.

  8. ITS OUR DESIRE TO VISIT CERTIAN CHURCHES IN ISTANBUL, AND WHOULD LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF TURKEY ESPECIALLY ABOUT CHRISTIANS. HOPEFULLY WITH GRACE OF GOD ALMIGHTY WE ARE VISITING THE TUREKY ISTANBUL IN THE MONTH OF APRIL 19-22 2012, WE ARE ATTENDING THE ADVANCE WOMEN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE FOURM IN ISTANBUL.

    THIS IS GOING TO BE OUR FIRST VISIT TO TUREKY WE WOULD LIKE TO MKEET OUR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISITER THERE. IN PAKISTAN WE ARE HELPING OUR CHRISTIANS BY PROVIDING THEM LEGAL AID ASSISTANCE. OUR CHAIRMAN MR. SAMSON JOSEPH IS AN ADVOCATE HE USE TO PLEAD THE CASES FREE OF COST, THE NAME OF OUR ORGANIZATION IS “TRUTH HELP LINE”.

    WE HOPE WITH YOUR KIND HELP WE WILL BE ABLE TO OUR CHRISTIANS IN TURKEY. WAITING FOR YOUR POSITIVE AND ECOURAGING RESPONSE.

    WITH BEST REGARDS.

    ARSHAD BASHIR

    WE HOPE WITH YOUR KIND

  9. i am looking for catholic church in kayseri turkley can you help me to find out any catholic church in kayseri .turkey.

  10. I am going to Mardin, my paternal grandfather was killed in 1915 during the genocide of the armenians. Who have and, where are the records kept. I remember my grandmother used to mention Dyar Bakr.
    Thank you

  11. There is a French Catholic Church built in 1910 in Konya/Iconium. It is called église Saint Paul, or Chiesa di S.Paolo, or Azia Pavlus Kilisesi. When we were in Konya in 2011, we went into this church and were fortunate to meet two Italian priests who travel to Konya every month from Cappadocia to celebrate mass for tourists following in the footsteps of Apostle Paul. The address is: Mimar Muzaffer cad. No.: 18, 42200 Konya.

  12. Hi,i’m looking for catholic church in kisery,turky… i’m catholic and i realy,realy have to go to the church…
    Thank you

  13. Am A Kenyan nationality and ordained Pastor.Please send me more information on the churches in turkey.

    I will be in Istanbul on 23 May 2016 for one day and night, Where can I meet Christians? Kindly Help.

  14. Wonderful list! Do you happen to know where Saint Mamas Monastery or Saint Marina’s Monastery were located? I’m sure they are no longer standing. I’m particularly interested in the remains of Saint Marina’s, possibly spelled Macrina.

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