Ayın Biri Kilisesi: make a wish on the first of the month

Girl going to Ayin biri church

Istanbul is no stranger to the superstitious. We’ve all had our fair share coffee cup fortunetellers and streetwise soothsayers.

The Ayın Biri Kilisesi (which literally means “Church of the First Day of the Month”) is quite similar but with a slightly religious twist. You go there ideally on the first day of a month to make it all the more meaningful. The sellers at the door will provide the trinkets, which you choose based on your wish whether it is health, marriage or money (or all at once). Then you go inside, buy a gold or silver key from the church, light a candle, pray a little bit, rub the key on the wall to expedite things, maybe bargain with God if that’s your thing, then get the priest’s blessings, and you’re done.

All you need to do is come back and return the key once your wish comes true.

Ayin biri church photo1     Ayin biri church photo2

Katip Çelebi Caddesi, Unkapanı (located right behind the Istanbul Manifaturacılar Çarşısı on Atatürk Boulevard)
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:00-14:00 are the best times to visit.

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