Turkey gives go-ahead for first new church in century

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gives a press conference on December 18, 2014 in AnkaraTurkey’s Islamic-rooted government has authorised the building of the first church in the country in nearly a century, officials said Saturday. The church is for the tiny Syriac community in Turkey and will be built in the Istanbul suburb of Yesilkoy on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, which already has Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic churches. The announcement came after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Turkey’s religious leaders in Istanbul on Friday and said no faith that has lived in the country could be regarded as foreign.

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