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Grief over fire at Istanbul’s Balikli Greek Hospital

A fire broke out on the roof of Istanbul’s Balikli Greek Hospital on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 patients and staff.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya confirmed there were no casualties. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The hospital is among three in Istanbul run by the city’s Greek community. Established as a plague hospital during Ottoman times, the clinic was reconstructed in 1793 after a fire three years earlier.

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios lamented the disaster.

“Our diaspora has suffered a serious blow,” he said.

In a tweet, the Greek Embassy in Ankara expressed its “grief and heartbreak” over the incident.