(Hurriyet Daily News) The Mother Mary church, located in the modern of village of Zeytinliada near Erdek and known in ancient sources as “the greatest church in the world,” has been undergoing excavation since 2006 and will soon open to tourists as a new archeopark.

Zeytinliada will be the first archeopark island museum in Turkey, Erdek Mayor Hüseyin Aysan said. “The area, which covers 200 square meters, will be transformed into a museum. The environs of the museum will also be transformed. We are working on this.” The island was a pilgrimage in times past, said Nurettin Öztürk, an assistant professor at Erzurum’s Atatürk University and the head of the excavation at the site, adding that it could become so again for Orthodox Christians.

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