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.


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Can Oz

4/3/2013 9:07:10 PM

constantinos kio -The Sabbateans practiced their own sect that combined both Islamic and Judaic mysticism. They were rejected by the Jewish community, and accepted as Muslim by the Ottoman Sultan. They were the only Bourgeoisie Muslim group in the Empire, explaining their significant role in the Young Turk movement as proponents of a constitutional monarchy. When the nationalist wing of the movement came into power, they erased Donme culture through forced assimilation into secular nationalism

Dennis Kavaz

4/3/2013 6:06:12 PM

Although I am not Greek or a Christian, (nevertheless just like you I am olso a mi nor) now that you have Mosque to pray, try as well to improve things and make Greee a healthier place to live in. I am also suggesting that all the (Greek minors) citizens should be able to chase solution and solve problems within the Greek laws. And in additions you minors are remind that despite the position you hold in civil or Government, not to be the enemy with in Greece [it is wrong]

constantinos kio

4/3/2013 5:01:14 PM

actually Yeni Mosque was nothing to do with Islam , Was a mosque for donmeh jews .for Sabbateans. They had to play big role in the younk turks movment but they was never muslims , to be claer was a synagogue .

ismail demir

4/3/2013 12:44:36 PM

I do not think Greece would allow pagan rituel in a place where 5 archbishop burried because there was a pagan temple there before christians, since 5 Ottoman caliphs were burried at St Sophia.So this place is holy for muslims whether christians care or not.And orthodox countries destroyed all mosques and ban islam, when they invaded muslim countries untill 1770.Therefore they should look at their past when they want something from others.

john albay

4/2/2013 11:51:15 PM

@everybody relegion only causes wars and trouble,better not to discuss it,it is a private matter anyway. We are all human beings and it is important to be a good human being.

Can Oz

4/2/2013 11:45:36 PM

The Yeni Mosque was built by the Ma'aminim (also pejoratively known as the Dönme) Their religion, which combined Islamic and Judaic mysticism, does not exist anymore. The Ma'aminim were classified as Muslims, and were thus transferred to Turkey via the population exchanges. They have all become assimilated Turks. I am happy this mosque is open for prayer. But I hope Sunni fascism will not destroy the history of this Ottoman Mosque. Keep the Diyanet out of the Yeni Camii!

mara mcglothin

4/2/2013 10:10:48 PM

ISMAIL Let us all not forget that Hagia Sophia was a church for more than 1000 years before it became a mosque. It is relevent.


4/2/2013 7:39:05 PM

By the way folks, and I am not attempting to be a phraseologist, but the expression "the church of St. Sophia" is wrong when using English, as the word "St." implies a canonized human being of male gender called Sophia... It is somewhat correct in Greek as the word "Sophia" which is also a female name, means wisdom. Ultimately, for those opting to use Greek, the correct wording would be "the church of Hagia Sophia," while for those opting to use English, "the church of Holy Wisdom." Regards

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

4/2/2013 7:01:33 PM

mara you are comparing an elephant to a mouse, as usual. Yes, both have four legs, two eyes, two ears and a tail each, but the sizes are different, the numbers are different, genes are different, their functions in the ecosystem are different. Please pay attention to your comparisons. Just to be right you are making irrelevant comparisons.

mara mcglothin

4/2/2013 6:46:16 PM

ISMAIL St Sophia was a church for many more years than it was ever a mosque. Just because it was changed to a mosque doesn't make a difference. It is now a museum and could easily be opened for Easter or Christmas and would be not cost a thing. I guess it is irrelevant as you say, since it is the other side of the fence.
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