Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew talked over the phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the issue of the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon.
As reported by the Turkish state agency Anadolu, the Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the Turkish president for the restoration work at the Sumela Monastery and for its opening to visitors.
It is recalled that yesterday there was confusion over whether the Sumela Monastery would open for the Divine Liturgy on August 15.
Early in the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a statement that it posted on its website, informing that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Turkish authorities did not allow the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy to take place on August 15 at the Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trebizond in Pontus region. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate informs the interested parties of this, always invoking the grace and the protection of Panagia Sumela.”
Shortly afterwards, however, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the inauguration of the Sumela Monastery, where the restoration works of the monastery were completed.
The Turkish president reportedly announced that “this year our Orthodox citizens will be able to hold a service on August 15 at Sumela Monastery, something they could not do because of the works.”
It is noted that the Sumela Monastery opens after five years of restoration work. The Patriarchal Divine Liturgy on August 15 was not performed last year either due to the restoration works carried out in the historic monastery of Pontus over the past five years.