Three Faiths Share Adjoining Sites in Istanbul Neighborhood

December 4, 2006

Author: Miguel Angel Rivera

Source: Voice of America

ne of the themes of Pope Benedict's visit to Turkey last week was to strengthen the bonds between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Christians. But he also began his pilgrimage by expressing sympathy for the pressures felt by religious minorities within the Muslim world.

And he is expected to sharpen his calls for what the Vatican calls "reciprocity" -- the idea that Muslim demands for greater respect in the West must be matched by increased tolerance and freedom for Christians in Muslim countries.

Turkey itself is 90 percent Muslim. But in parts of the large cities, there are pockets of people of different faiths, living together peacefully. VOA's Miguel Angel Rivera looks at the relationships between three houses of worship that share adjacent sites in one Istanbul neighborhood.

Kuzguncuk, is an ancient part of Istanbul, the only city in the world that lies in two continents; Asia and Europe. For hundreds of years it has been inhabited by Muslims, Jews, and Christians; Turks, Armenians and Greeks. Kuzguncuk lies on the Asian side of the Bosporus Strait.