Dinner With Friends
Our friends invited us to Fenerbahçe Dalyan Club last week. As we arrived, we saw an old stone building which I later learned was an old seminary attached to a church. Little did I know that it was St. Augustine Church, like the one we saw in Sheffield.
During the dinner, I excused myself and started searching for the church, which led me to a couple of strangers who directed me to an iron gate. The young man who brought me there rang the doorbell, and a lady opened the door. I expressed my interest to see the interior. She said she would be glad to open the door for me.
Inside St. Augustine Chapel
As I entered the main gate, she greeted me and invited me inside. While I was looking around, she was busy putting the lights on for me. Monica Zeynep Öztoprak is the caretaker of the chapel, following in the footsteps of her late husband. The chapel was very well kept, clean, tidy, and decorated with a large painting of St. Augustine at the altar and statues on the walls. A large statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms was looking from the balcony in the back.
The Altar and Behind It
Zeynep walked me to the sacristy behind the altar and allowed me to photograph inside. In one small frame was a facsimile of a page in Ataturk’s handwriting on the religious freedom in Turkey. You will see a photograph of that page among the others below.
She told me that the building we saw earlier was a seminary. Currently, that and the other structures on the premises were rented or leased to the Dalyan Club, which helps with the maintenance of the chapel. After a pleasant visit with Monica, I thanked her and got her permission to share the photographs on my site. Thank you, Monica Zeynep Öztoprak.
The visit also reconnected me to the visit to St. Augustine’s Church in Sheffield, England. Jan and I visited the church. Her grandfather was married in that church. Small world!