In this time of political chaos in Turkey, I would like to share the following article with you. I came across it this morning in a Turkish newspaper. It caught my eye because of its simple beauty: no politics, no fighting, no blaming. No chaos. It does, however, involve religion, but the article is not about religion. Behold:
Fittingly for the site of one of Christianity’s oldest churches, the southern province of Hatay is now exporting intricate church doors around the world thanks to the efforts of a local artisan, Ali Altun.
Though Altun, 55, has been interested in carving wood since childhood, his involvement in carving wooden doors for churches started later. . .
“I wanted to make figures for church doors in order to give life to wood and my designs were appreciated. Then I started working on apostle statues. After I made a few doors, my work began to draw interest and this intense interest led me to start making different designs. I made a door with the figure of St. Pierre for a [local] Orthodoxchurch,” Altun said. “While visiting the church, a team from the United States saw the door and liked it a lot. They asked me to make a door for the St. Andrea Church in southern California. I made the door for them, and then I made all the church’s doors.” . . .
Hatay is one of Turkey’s most religiously diverse provinces, with a population that includes Sunni Turks, Sunni Arabs, Arab Alevis (Alawites), Arabic-speaking GreekOrthodox, Armenians and Kurds. Hatay was an important center of early Christianity, with the name “Christian” first being applied to the followers of Jesus in Antioch, the modern-day Antakya, which is the seat of the Hatay province. Antakya’s Cave Church of St. Peter dates to the fourth-century A.D.
via World churches get a door to the world from Hatay – RELIGION.
You may click the above link to read the entire article.
Dear Terry, beautiful article, thanks so much for sharing. Antakya, Hatay is my homeland, and I love how folks from different religions and ethnic backgrounds co-exist and live happily, an example for the whole world. A big well done to this brilliant artisan, Ali Altun! Cok Selamlar, Ozlem
I would love to see him work. Perhaps this will go on my to do list!
This really is a feel good post – a great antidote to all the political drama on the internet this week
Can you imagine the drama will probably get worse!
Ali Altun is obviously a very special person. Wonderful.
Yes, I would love to meet him!
. . it’s wonderful – the story and the craftsmanship. J and I once met a guy in a small village in Isparta who had just retired from stonemasonry – he’d spent much of his working life in France and Spain repairing churches great ans small. He was a most entertaining story-teller!
I met a guy once in DC who was also a stone mason. He told me that he had to take a bunch of courses before he could work on the historical monuments and buildings. I wonder if they do that in Europe?
Indeed a wonderful story! Maybe Turkey will actually keep its churches as churches too!
Wouldn’t that be nice? Don’t bury the history!