Anatolia has been the cradle of numerous civilizations for thousands of years and the birthplace of the three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
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The non-Moslem population had the right of living and setting wherever they wanted during both the Ottoman period and the republican era.
Without any discrimination Islamic or non-Islamic Turkish citizens have had the right of jurisdiction, religious belief and concept and conducted their religious services, prayers and ceremonies freely in their holy places such as mosques, churches and synagogues.
Today, you can find hundreds of religious examples in each and every town and city of Turkey, especially in Istanbul.
The Turkish people, the majority of them Moslem, who continue to carry on their traditions and conventions in a contemporary manner and in harmony with their Islamic beliefs, have constructed mosques, tombs and similar religious areas which reflect both the features of Anatolia where the Turks have been living for centuries and their artistic values as well as their religious importance.
Anatolia is also as significant area for Christians and is considered holy and sacred for many reasons which include: Turks preserved and protected the synagogues and churches which belonged to the Jewish and Christian faith that exist even in areas where Jewish or Christian populations were practically non-existent.
It must be emphasized here that these well preserved holy places show the best and most concrete example of how the Islamic religion treats other religions in tolerance and respect. This means that the Christian faith is a constant inspiration to an historian; but it does not mean that believing Christians have any necessary advantage in the study of religious history, nor of Christian origins. A Christian who meditates deeply on his faith must be concerned with history in some sense and some degree; for Christianity is an historical religion, inescapably tied to the events of Jesus' life – not to particular interpretations of particular moments in it, nor to a particular theological interpretation of the Incarnation or the Atonement – but, as I once heard a schoolmaster put it to his class, when speaking of the events of Christmas, reverently, hut firmly, 'no baby, no Church'.Recent archaeological excavations conducted in the Aegean region indicate Judaism's existence since the early 4th century B. Sardis (Sart, near Salihli) contains the remains of one of the oldest synagogues dating back to 220 B. which provides a fine structural and archaeological example of this place of worship.Remains of another ancient settlement belonging to the Jewish people was unearthed during excavations conducted along the Aegean and Black Sea Coasts.The Ottoman Empire had always been tolerant of non-Moslems and never forbid or restricted their worship in accordance with their religion.