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Virgin Mary Orthodox Church

Ali Paşa Değirmen Sokak No. 2, Karaköy

Catch the tram to Tophane. It is a few minutes’ walk from there, in the backstreets of Karaköy.

Originally a Greek Orthodox Church, it was requisitioned to serve as the headquarters of the Turkish Orthodox Church in 1922. Built in 1583, it is also popularly known as Santa Maria de Kaffa (Panagia Kaphatiani) because it was founded by the Greek community of Caffa (Crimean Greeks). The church was ravaged by a number of fires which resulted in several reconstructions, with the major one taking place in 1840. From 2008, no religious services have been held.

Cornucopia contributor Pat Yale writes about the hidden churches of Karaköy, which includes the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, on her blog.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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