'Priest-like shapes' on carpets spark crisis in Batman mosques
BATMAN - Doğan News AgencyTurkish authorities have announced that prayer carpets at mosques in the southeastern town of Batman will be replaced due to the complaints filed by Muslims who alleged that some of their motifs "resemble Christian priests."
"Only when we see them up close, we understood that some mosque carpets are indeed patterned with 'different' symbols. We tried all the ways to remove the patterns, but we couldn't do it. Now there is no alternative to replacing the carpets altogether," Hasan Çağlar, the top religious authority in the province, said July 26.
Several imams said that some Muslims left their mosques without praying after seeing the carpets, according to Doğan News Agency. Çağlar added that around 10 mosques in central Batman have the prayer carpets that angered the local congregation.