20 December 2018 on the island of St. Nicholas in the Turkish Gulf of Fethiye priests and a group of pilgrims from Pskov and St. Petersburg Metropolitan celebrated the divine Liturgy, according to patriarhiei. The service was led by the acting rector of the Church of SS Constantine and Helen in Istanbul and responsible for the pastoral care of Russian-speaking community on the territory of the Turkish Republic and priest George Sergeev.
The island of St. Nicholas (Gemiler Adasi) is located in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Fethiye. On it are ruins of four Christian churches, built between the IV and VII centuries, as well as about 40 other Christian structures. It is believed that there existed a settlement founded by the Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, who fled here with his flock, to escape persecution by the Romans. One of the churches of the island, apparently, was erected in honor of the Saint on one of the walls of the Basilica written his name. The interior of the Basilica consists of three naves, one of which carved in the rock. In the Church found numerous mosaics with geometric patterns and fragments of images of saints.
After his blessed repose, according to some legends, St. Nicholas was buried on this island, which he subsequently becomes a center of attraction for pilgrims that traveled to the Holy Land. However, in the VII century because of the Arab raids, the relics of the Saint were transported to the city of Myra, and later to the Italian town of Bari, where they now repose. Currently the island is uninhabited and is under protection of the Ministry of tourism of Turkey.