The residents of Istanbul's Princes' Islands sent a petition to the Governor's Office to close off access to the islands on April 23, the St. George Holiday when crowds flock to the islands' St. George Monastery to make wishes.
A celebration of spring, St. George's Monastery also coincides with Turkey's "National Sovereignty and Children's Day," which commemorates the establishment of the first parliament, and is a national holiday.
Princes' Islands residents wanted transportation to the islands cut off April 23, when large crowds visit the largest of the islands, Büyükada, where it's traditional to make wishes at the St. George Monastery.
The Greek Orthodox authority of "the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" announced that St. George Church will be closed on the holiday.
"Within the context of COVID-19 preventative measures, it was decided that the Büyükada St. George Abbey, which hosts thousands of visitors on April 23 every year, remain closed," the Patriarchate said in an official statement.
St. George Monastery, residing at 204 meter's altitude on Buyukada's tallest hill, was constructed in 1751.
The structure, also known as "old church," was named after St. George who was thought to live on Anatolian land in B.C. 3.
The location is considered a pilgrimage destination for Turkey's Christian population, alongside St. Mary's house in Ephesus.
It's considered to bring good luck to tie ribbons on trees in Büyükada and to light candles at St. George Monastery on April 23.Opposition lawmaker urges Ankara to open schools that teach in Assyrianİzmir municipality designates seven cemevis as 'houses of worship' in zoning plans