A 438-year-old church in the Iskenderun district of Hatay province sustained minor damage after twin earthquakes struck Türkiye earlier last month.
The church started serving as a storage facility for supplies for earthquake victims.
St. George Church, serving 3,000 Christians, developed cracks in its inner walls and closed its doors for worship after it was partially damaged.
Can Temur, president of the Iskenderun Greek Orthodox Church Fukara Foundation, told Anadolu that members are hopeful that the church will soon be repaired and protected.
“Although, our nearly 500-year-old St. George Church is still standing. There have been cracks in the east and west walls. From the first day of the earthquake, we made an urgent hot meal preparation for our people in the garden of our church, which has a large area, together with our friends from Istanbul and the members of the congregation here. We set up a kitchen. Thankfully, our charitable people and non-governmental organizations have swiftly provided us with all the help. We organized these activities and offered a hot meal to our citizens, or rather to our citizens who could come,” he said.
Temur said many fled the city in the aftermath of the quakes but that they trust life will return to normal as soon as possible.
He said that because the church was closed for worship, humanitarian supplies for survivors were kept inside.
“As you can see, we are inside the church now. All other areas were demolished. For us, this place is a sacred place and our service is a sacred service, so we use this place as a warehouse. Because this field is solid. It had been rainy the past few days. We have stored these materials. We distributed rations to our citizens in need. Serious help came to us. I would like to express my gratitude to our charitable citizens and to all our non-governmental organizations who sent aid in this regard,” he added.
Source: Anadolu Agency