Binali Yildirim and Boyko Borisov meet for lunch at Istanbul's historic Dolmabahce Palace.

Turkey’s prime minister hosted his Bulgarian counterpart on Sunday following the reopening of Istanbul’s historic Iron Church, also known as St. Stephen. 

Yıldırım ile Borisov bir araya geldi

Turkey’s Binali Yildirim and Boyko Borisov met at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul for a one-hour closed-door meeting before lunch.

The two leaders discussed improving cooperation and bilateral ties between Bulgaria and Turkey on the basis of “mutual advantage and good neighborhood relations,” according to prime ministerial sources, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Yildirim and Borisov, whose country took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council on Jan. 1, agreed that Turkey’s EU membership process must be revived.

Earlier on Sunday, the reopening ceremony of the Bulgarian church, built in 1898, was attended by Yildirim, Borisov, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Orthodox church is located in the historic Balat neighborhood on the shores of Istanbul’s Golden Horn.

Its reopening follows a major seven-year restoration project co-funded by the Istanbul Greater Municipality and the Bulgarian government.