The Patriarch of Constantinople celebrates the Epiphany Mass before blessing the waters of the Golden Horn with a cross that young Greek Orthodox Christians recovered by diving into the icy water. The winner this year is Mihalis Vosnakiris.
In the biggest rift in modern Orthodox history, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, after it accepted a breakaway division of Ukrainian Orthodox Church as independent.
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The Russian Orthodox Church announces it is breaking ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate over its decision to grant independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which Moscow does not recognise. Moscow considers the Kiev Patriarch Filaret to be a schismatic, a decision Constantinople has backed since the 1990s but reversed last week amid the drive by Ukraine for its own Orthodox Church independent from Moscow.
They are among Istanbul’s most iconic sights — magnificent waterside mansions strung out along the Bosphorus as the waters of the strait dividing Europe and Asia lap almost at their front doors. Once the preserve of the Ottoman elite and affluent foreigners working in what was Constantinople, the mansions, known as yalis, were made famous in novels and more recently through modern Turkey’s hugely successful TV soap operas.