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Turkey ‘aims to draw 50 million visitors yearly with help of faith tourism’

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Turkey Aims to Draw

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry will carry out promotion works to boost faith tourism starting next year. Aiming to increase the number of tourists coming to the country from 45 million to 50 million, it has said. Turkey Aims to Draw

The Hagia Sophia is a significant destination for religious tourists. Which has served for the faithful of both Islam and Christianity. It is renowned internationally for being one of the most important Byzantine structures and the world’s greatest monuments.

Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul in 1453. In the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th century, it was converted to a museum. The Hagia Sophia is also an important place in the arts world with its architecture, grandness, size and functions.

By the same token, the St. Nicholas Church in the Mediterranean province of Antalya — the hometown of Santa Claus — is another destination for visitors looking for a religious experience. The church used to be home to the grave of Saint Nicholas, known throughout the world as Santa Claus.

A committee including representatives from the foreign, interior and culture ministries and other public institutions was founded. The committee spotted nine important locations for Christianity. They include the Church of Santa Claus in Antalya’s Demre, the Saint Pierre Church in Hatay’s Antakya. The House of Virgin Mary in İzmir, the Saint Nicola Church in İznik, Hagia Sophia Museum, Sardis Synagogue in Manisa. Laodikia ancient city in Pamukkale, the Derinkuyu Orthodox Church in Nevşehir, Saint Jean Church in the Aegean district of Alaşehir. And the Pisidia ancient city in the Central Anatolian province of Isparta.

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