During his visit to Trebizond, Deputy Foreign Minister Markos Bolaris was guided to the historic Sumela Monastery by the Director General of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey.
Markos Bolaris, according to diplomatic sources, had the opportunity to visit the monastery and to see the efforts made by the Turkish side to deliver the monastery as soon as possible to the visitors.
The Director General explained that the monastery will be opened on May 18 so that the public can see a section of the monastery. However, it is not yet clear when the pilgrims will have full access to the interior of the monastery and whether it will be possible to perform the Divine Liturgy on August 15.
According to the same sources, the Deputy Foreign Minister held a meeting today with the Governor of Trabzon Ismail Ustaoglu. Markos Bolaris thanked the Ministry of Culture for the opportunity given to him to be guided at the Sumela Monastery.
He also stressed that the Greek government wanted to intensify contacts and relations between the two peoples, something which was confirmed in practice by the Visa Application Centre in Trebizond, officially opened since April 1.
Markos Bolaris also met the newly elected Mayor of Trebizond, Murat Zorluoğlu. After congratulating him for his election at the recent municipal elections. The Deputy Foreign Minister said that the Greek side was willing to cooperate with the local government.
On his part, Murat Zorluoğlu expressed great interest in promoting twinning with Greek municipalities, and called for Greece’s help to increase the number of Greek tourists visiting Trebizond. He added that the number of Greek tourists declined sharply in recent years with the closing of the Sumela Monastery due to restoration work.