In one of Turkey's most religiously diverse provinces, close ties with Syria fuel support for Assad regime
In Turkey, the civil strife in Syria has meant refugees streaming across the border. In mostly-Muslim Turkey, most Turks are staunchly on the side of the Sunni Muslims trying to overthrow Assad rule. But in Hatay province, a former Syrian province and one of the most diverse provinces in the country, more people support Assad, perhaps than anywhere outside of Syria.
It might sound a bit counter-intuitive: an Orthodox Christian priest praying in Arabic, in Turkey.His church is in Tokacli, one of the few Christian villages in mostly Muslim Turkey. [...]
See also the photo-gallery at the bottom of the article, which has pictures of the Orthodox church in Antioch.
Bishop Louka prides himself in belonging to the oldest Arab church.
"Can you name one single Syrian party or political movement that did not have a Greek Orthodox among its leaders?"
I noticed the nostalgic tone in his words.
"Christian Syrians were accused of siding with the regime, but this is not true," he insisted.
"Syrians belong only to their homeland not to regimes, it's that patriotism Christians have that made them the first to sacrifice for their country.
"We have some fears no doubt, because we have never witnessed violence like that which we see on the ground now.
"But we don't side with a regime; we side with our country and with anybody who serves our homeland and our interests," Bishop Louka al-Khoury said.