This icon of Agios Eleftherios, the Patron Saint of childbirth, belongs to Dimitri’s family. This icon was hanging on the wall of their home in Istanbul until they left in 1964 due to the exile of the Greek citizens. Dimitris’s father, Nikos, had a shop in the Karaköy district of Istanbul. They both used to go to the Agios Nicolas Church, which was near his father’s shop. Greek- Orthodox people commemorate the Feast day of Agios Eleftherios on 15 December every year.
According to their tradition, on the feast day of a saint, an icon of them goes on display in the church. However, Agios Nicolas Church did not have the icon of Agios Eleftherios. Every year, Dimitris’s father took this icon to the Church to be displayed for two days. Today, the icon is hanging on the wall of Dimitris’s house in Athens.
The Agios Nicolas church dates back to the 16th century, but the current church was built in 1804. The ‘Turkish Orthodox’ community took ownership of the church with the support of the Turkish State in 1965. Later, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul started a court case for the return of the church, along with another church in the same area – Agios Ioannis – which is in the same situation.