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Turkey´s Shiite Muslims mark Ashura in Halkalı
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 05 Dec 2011 Mon 08:12 pm

Turkey´s Shiite Muslims mark Ashura in Halkalı

05 December 2011, Monday / TODAY´S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Thousands of Shiites gathered in İstanbul for Ashura and CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu attended the ceremony. (Photo: Today´s Zaman)


Thousands of Shiites gathered in İstanbul´s Halkalı district on Monday -- the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar, also known as Ashura -- to mourn the martyrdom of Husain ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala 1,372 years ago.

Ashura is a religious observance marked every year by Muslims. The word “ashura” literally means “10th,” as it is the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year. Ashura is a traditional observance that is now recognized for different reasons and in different ways by Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Republican People´s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu attended the ceremony, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is currently recovering from an operation, released a statement. Erdoğan said the tragedy in Karbala is the common pain of the people of the nation and voiced his wish that such tragedies never take place again.

Kılıçdaroğlu delivered a speech at the event and said, “The clearest things that could be said about this pain is this: The Karbala case is a tragedy caused by fitna [anarchy] which was fomented among Muslims.” He added that the pain of Karbala is the kind that can never be forgotten.

Wearing black clothes symbolizing mourning, young women carried the names of the Karbala martyrs on cloths wrapped around their heads and cups in their hands to symbolize the thirst suffered by Husain and his companions in the desert. Men flogged themselves in a ceremonial procession to express grief and to re-enact the pain that Husain suffered. Several doves were released in memory of Ali Asghar, the 6-month-old son of Husain who was also killed at the Battle of Karbala.

At the event, the leader of the Shiite community in Turkey, Selahattin Özgündüz, also delivered a speech and called on Parliament to declare Ashura an official holiday. “In this way, our nation will easily take part in Ashura activities. Just as we celebrate the Islamic holidays in the best way, we will share the grief of this day together. We hope that this demand will be treated as a supra-party matter,” said Özgündüz.











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