Summer 2013 – Ethnographic Research in Istanbul

Over the summer of 2013, Karen Barkey, Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, with assistance from Noah Arjomand, PhD candidate in Sociology at Columbia University, traveled to Turkey to conduct field research for the CDTR. The majority of their work was carried out in three churches in Istanbul: the Church of the Mother of God and the Aghiasma known as Vefa in the Vefa neighborhood, the Church of Aya Demetrios in Kuruçesme, and Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Beyoglu (Pera) distict of Istanbul. The first two are Greek Orthodox Churches featuring aghiasma, or holy waters, and the third is a Roman Catholic Church. The results of this trip and the associated research are now available at