Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Erdoğan said reopening of the Iron Church was an important message for the international community.
“It is the responsibility of the state to ensure everyone can worship freely,” he said, adding that Turkey has supported the restoration of more than 5,000 artifacts in the past 15 years.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called reopening of the church “the best example” of religious tolerance that Turkey had exhibited towards other religions.
“I hope this message will be heard and understood properly,” he said.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who also attended the ceremony, said that efforts to normalize relations between Turkey and the EU in 2018 were needed.
Bulgaria took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU as of Jan 1.
The orthodox church, also known as St. Stephen Church, is located in the historic Balat neighborhood on the shore of the city’s Golden Horn.