The frescos depicting the life of St. Nicolas (and the legends about him), in the northeast aisle arcade of the church, date from the 12th century. They are the only surviving ‘St. Nicolas cycle’ in Turkey.
On the picture: St. Nicolas, patron saint of sailors (among others), on board a ship, in stormy waters.
One of the stories about St.Nicolas and sailors - the one that is probably depicted here - goes as follows:
A ship, caught by a storm, was forced into shallow waters where it became grounded. The sailors were unable to maneuver it back into deeper water. Accounts of Bishop Nicholas' help to distressed sailors had already spread far and wide. The sailors called on Nicholas for aid, even though they were distant from him, as they believed they might be saved by his prayer and intervention. Nicholas actually appeared on the ship and gave the sailors a helping hand. Together they retied and strengthened the ropes holding the masts and worked with poles to pry the ship away from the threatening rocks. As soon as the boat was freed and able to again set sail, the image of Nicholas vanished.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: Website of ‘stnicholascenter.org’ .