Happy New Year from Izmir/Smyrna, Turkey to all!
As I continue on my journey of my documentary film Hello Anatolia, I wanted to share some news and photos from Christmas and New Years in this beloved city that I call home.
In the month of December, our community held full Christmas celebrations throughout the month. I was fortunate to attend and photograph the Christmas liturgy, which saw attendees from the city and abroad, including two honorary guests of the city’s municipality. Furthermore, Christmas carols in Greek, Turkish, and English were sung by several community members outside the church of Agia Fotini and in several areas around the downtown area of the city.
As an FYI to our readers, the city has taken many steps in restoring the Greek Orthodox Christian heritage of the city, donating laborers and restoration work to the community in redeveloping historical and religious sites.
Several churches have been restored in Izmir including that of my great-grandparents, which will in turn, hold liturgies being celebrated in the coming weeks. Stepping into 2015, I am incredibly excited and grateful by the positive changes that have happened since making my documentary film Hello Anatolia.
This February, the city’s historical Greek Orthodox churches of Agia Fotini, Agios Voukolos, and Agios Haralambos will be open for scheduled liturgies to celebrate the feast days of these respected saints. The services will be conducted by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and will bring in flocks of tourists that have already overbooked a majority of the hotels in the city.
Also planned is an official screening of the first Hello Anatolia, which will be shown in the city center. I, as a filmmaker, will be documenting this journey on film in developing the further chapter of Hello Anatolia, producing a second film.
The journey will take an incredible turn as I along with incredible producers and musicians, take steps forward in producing a concert that will highlight all the historically significant neighborhoods of the city.
More information to come in the following days. So, once again, another new year and new goals that I plan to supercede from the previous year. Hope you join us in celebrating all that is happening here. Without your support, it won’t be possible! Happy New Year once again! Kali Xronia! Mutlu Seneler! Hope you enjoy my pics.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful information. It is important that sites like this exist to help keep us aware of what is going on with our fellow Greeks, and fellow Greek Orthodox Christians worldwide. It is not often I hear stories of renovation, preservation and re-building projects taking place around the world. I hope to one day visit some of these sites myself!