Anatolia, a bridge of different civilizations for centuries, naturally hosted various religions. The Ottoman Empire, governing with Muslim rule for more than six centuries, permitted all communities to practice their religion. Today’s secular Turkish Republic also allows everyone to profess the religion of their choosing. Greek Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchates are still active in İstanbul. Therefore it is not a surprise to see a mosque, synagogue and church located side by side or even on in same garden.
Although their religions are different, people in this land commiserate and share their happy moments with a strong solidarity. Communities of various religions consider the others’ beliefs. This produces respect for each other’s traditions, and over time, people of different religions have begun to share the same customs.
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