site.btaBulgaria's National Holiday Celebrated in Istanbul

Bulgaria's National Holiday Celebrated in Istanbul
Bulgaria's National Holiday Celebrated in Istanbul
The liturgy at the St Stephen Church (Photo: BTA/Nahide Deniz)

A ceremony in Istanbul marked Bulgaria's Liberation Day, March 3, which is the country's National Day. Bulgarian Consul General Vassil Valchev said that 146 years ago Bulgaria gained the place it deserved on the map of Europe and the world. "We Bulgarians of the present day bow our heads in homage to the freedom of our dear Fatherland and in full awareness of our responsibility for it," Valchev said.

The ceremony was organized by the Foundation of the Orthodox Churches of the Bulgarian Exarchate (FOCBE) in Istanbul, chaired by Dimitri Yotef. It was held in the Bulgarian Convent, a landmark building of the Bulgarian Revival Period, built in 1850.

The event was attended by members of the Bulgarian community in Istanbul, officials of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission and representatives of the Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Barbaros Buyuksagnak, head of the Istanbul Municipal Foreign Relations Department, was among the guests. There was also a group of citizens from the Bulgarian Danubian town of Svishtov, who came especially for the occasion.

The national anthems of Bulgaria and Turkiye were played. Yotef gave a greetings address on behalf of the so-called Bulgarians of Constantinople, the more traditional part of the historical Bulgarian community. The FOCBE and the Bulgarian Consulate General made floral tributes.

A chamber orchestra from Istanbul Nisantasi University played popular Bulgarian tunes.

On Sunday morning, Archimandrite Charalampy Nichev officiated at a two-hour solemn liturgy at the Bulgarian St Stephen Church, situated on the Golden Horn in the historical heart of Istanbul. The liturgy was occasioned by Bulgaria's National Day. The place was packed full of people.

The Church Choir of the Bulgarians in Istanbul, conducted by Kiriako Lyaze, sung the famous song "Na Mnogaya Leta!".

Nichev said for BTA: "Personally, I prayed for the well-being of our Bulgarian community and for everyone who sacrificed their life for the liberation of our Fatherland."

Tourists of various nationalities kept coming to the St Stephen Church throughout the day. According to an administrator, more than a thousand people visited the place on Sunday. Two police officers provided security during the liturgy.




By 11:26 on 25.04.2024 Today`s news

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