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RELIGION > First prayer in Thessaloniki mosque after 90 years

Yorgo Kırbaki THESSALONIKI - Hürriyet

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Greek Muslims have prayed in a 111-year-old mosque in the city of Thessaloniki for the first time in 90 years. Fifty madrasah students from Komotini who were visiting Thessaloniki prayed on March 30 in the historical New Mosque, which is normally used as an exhibition hall. The students reportedly went to Thessaloniki with an initiative of the city’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris.

“A positive step has been taken in the right direction,” said Kerim Uras, Turkey’s ambassador to Greece. “We’re expecting the rest to come. I hope Athens will also be a place where Muslims can pray.”

Turkey’s Thessaloniki consul general, Tuğrul Biltekin, is also pleased with the decision. “I am so happy about this historical development. I hope mosques in Thessaloniki and other locations in the region will be open to Muslims during holy days,” he said.

The New Mosque was constructed by Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli in 1902 and was closed to prayer on 1923. The mosque, which was used as archaeology museum between 1925 and 1963, was later turned into the Thessaloniki Municipality’s exhibition hall.

April/02/2013

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