Church discovered in Turkey one of world's earliest

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Istanbul, October 1 : The "Derecik Basilica" discovered in north-western province of Bursa's Orhaneli town in Turkey in the year 2000 has been claimed as one of the world's earliest churches that was constructed after Christianity was accepted as an official religion by the Roman Empire.

According to a report by Turkish Press, Dean of the Archeology Department at the Uludag University (UU) Professor Dr. Mustafa Sahin said that the excavations at the "Derecik Basilica" for the year 2008 has ended.

"The excavations in Derecik village began in 2007. Professor Dr. Michel Fuchs of the University of Lausanne and I are co-chairing the excavations. We made an important discovery this year," said Dr. Sahin.

"The 'Derecik Basilica' happens to be one of the world's earliest churches. It may even be the first church constructed after the Roman Empire adopted Christianity," he added. "In 2008, we discovered a place of worship underneath the church. The place of worship was erected for the Greek God Zeus. Further, we also discovered stamps and rings with Arabic letters on them. This indicates that this site received respect both from Christians and Muslims," he further added.

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