Archeologists have unearthed remains of a church in an ancient city in the Mediterranean province of Isparta, head of the team said on Monday.
Associate Professor Mehmet Ozhanli, the head of Suleyman Demirel University's Archeology Department who heads excavations in the ancient city of Pisidian Antioch, said they had discovered remains of a church during their excavations.
"We have found the remains of a three-nave church one and a half meters below the surface," Ozhanli told AA correspondent.
Ozhanli said the building was constructed as a Pagan temple, however it was converted to a church after the spread of Christianity.
"This is the fifth church we have brought to daylight in this ancient city," Ozhanli said.
Ozhanli said this recently found church was also below the Men Temple, and the number of churches in the area rose to six.
"This indicates that this area was an important center for Christianity, and it was the capital of Pisidia," Ozhanli said.
Pisidian Antioch (also called Antioch-of-Pisidia) was a major Roman colony that was visited by St. Paul on his First Missionary Journey. Pisidian Antioch marked an important turning point in Paul's ministry, as the city became the first to have a fully Gentile Christian community.
Situated on the southern foothills of the Sultan Mountains, Pisidian Antioch was spread over seven small hills in a manner reminiscent of Rome. The city was founded in the early 3rd century BC by the Seleucid dynasty.
It was one of 15 different cities named "Antioch" after several members of the family with the name Antiochus. The original settlers of the new Hellenistic city came from Magnesia on the Meander, a town near the Aegean coast.
The inhabitants of Antioch at this time were a mixture of Roman veterans and their families, descendents of the earlier Hellenistic settlers, and people of Phrygian and Pisidian background. Several of the Romans from Antioch became members of the Senate.
Around 50 AD, Paul and Barnabas visited the city and established a Christian community. The city continued to prosper in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and in 295 AD it became the capital of Pisidia, a new province created by Diocletian. The theater was enlarged and anew agora and porticoes were built.
Antioch was the seat of the bishops of Pisidia, including Bishop Optimus who attended the Council of Constantinople in 381. There is no evidence of any churches before the 4th century, and Christians were actively persecuted under the governor of Pisidia in the early 4th century, Valerius Diogenes. But by the end of the 4th century, when persecuted had ceased, Antioch had between one and three church buildings.
Archaeological interest in Pisidian Antioch has been ongoing since its re-discovery in 1833 by British Chaplain F.V.J. Arundell.
Excavations in eastern Turkey show thousands of Muslims were massacred by Armenian gangs in 1918, say research experts.
Ferhat Yildiz was sentenced to prison for 11 years and eight months in an Istanbul court today
Reactions of Turkish government and opposition parties over European Parliament’s recent resolution recognizing 1915 events as 'genocide' dominated Turkish dailies' headlines Friday.
Turkey will provide $200 million to Gaza Strip for reconstruction efforts.
The annual Trip Advisor's Travellers Choice Award has voted Istanbul as the top travellers destination for Europe for 2015.
Bomb disposal searched plane after a note claiming there was a bomb on the plane.
At Financial Times Summit on Turkish economy, experts agree that Turkish economy is being transformed, with industry moving to more knowledge-intensive production.
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan says Islamic finance model offers additional financial instruments with less risk.
Turkey rejects European Parliament’s resolution recognizing 1915 events as "genocide", Davutoglu tells EU Parliament president in telephone call.
The Turkish military has blamed the incident in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Turkish Minister Bozkir says he will return resolution letter on 1915 incidents 'without even opening it'.
Turkish dailies on Thursday covered announcement of AK Party’s election manifesto and President Erdogan’s remarks on European Parliament resolution describing 1915 events as "genocide".
Turkish Airlines suspends all flights to Sanaa and Aden due to political unrest.
Turkish Foreign Ministry says the 'preposterous text' of the resolution repeats the anti-Turkish clichés of the Armenian propaganda.
Minister Mehdi Eker warmly welcomed Ambassador Mahmood on his assignment in Turkey and reaffirmed his support for the efforts to deepen mutual collaboration in agriculture and livestock sectors.
Eight British citizens sent from Antalya airport back to UK after they allegedly sought to join militant groups in Syria and Iraq.