Work on the first-ever church to be built in the modern Republic of Turkey will start next month.
Construction on the church will take about two years, according to The Christian Post.
The church is expected to serve Syriac Orthodox Christians. The church’s capacity is about 700 people. There are some 17,000 Syriac Orthodox Christians living in Istanbul.
“We’re proud of living under the Turkish flag in this land,” said Yusuf Cetin, the Syriac Orthodox Church’s metropolitan for Istanbul and Ankara.
While the country does have older churches, the Syriac Orthodox church will be the first one to be built in modern Turkey since the end of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s.
“It is the first since the creation of the republic,” a government official said when plans for the church were announced in 2015. “Churches have been restored and reopened to the public, but no new church has been built until now.”
The church will be built in an area near the Ataturk International Airport.