The altar of the Bulgarian St Stephen's Church, also known as the 'Iron Church,' in Istanbul is pictured on January 6, 2018. / AFP / OZAN KOSE
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The leaders of Turkey and Bulgaria are Sunday due to reopen the Bulgarian St Stephen's Church in Istanbul after seven years of restoration, in a gesture of harmony in an often turbulent relationship between the two neighbours.Bulgaria, which holds the rotating EU presidency for the next six months, shares a 270-kilometre border with Turkey.Turkey is home to more than 200,000 ethnic Turks with Bulgarian passports who left Bulgaria during the communist era.Bulgaria, meanwhile, is home to a 700,000-strong ethnic Turkish minority, a legacy of the Ottoman empire.The main party representing the Turkish minority in Bulgaria had denounced Turkey's April vote on granting Erdogan sweeping powers as "madness".
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