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LOCAL > VIDEO: Islamist reporting from secular Istanbul neighborhood goes viral

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The video went viral on June 4 after it was put online by an ultra-conservative news website Ehlisünnet TV.

The video went viral on June 4 after it was put online by an ultra-conservative news website Ehlisünnet TV.

A video of a hardcore Islamist reporter broadcasting in the middle of Nişantaşı, one of Istanbul’s most secular and upmarket neighborhoods, went viral on June 4 after it was put online by ultra-conservative news website Ehlisünnet TV.

As if he were traveling to an exotic destination, the reporter is seen the video attempting to give evidence of the “frivolous” life in the small pedestrian Atiye Street, surrounded by restaurants and bars.

“I am sure when you see this place, you will become as sad as we are,” the reporter says disapprovingly, in his short introduction to his adventure in Nişantaşı.

“If [Ottoman Sultan] Mehmet the Conqueror would raise his head from the grave, he would organize new expeditions to take back Istanbul. While their grandmothers are even ashamed to show their noses outside home, these [women] show their belly-buttons,” he continues, insisting on the women's array before criticizing the men's faith.

“While their grandfathers were running to the mosque, these men are running after binging. 80-90 years have passed since and the youth who have been pulled off from the Ottoman family are pitiful. They only care about their own pleasure, they have forgotten God,” the reporter says.

In the second part of the video, our young and mellow-voiced reporter is seen while chatting with a staunchly secular woman about the practice of religion. At moments, the conversation gives the sense of experiencing a "clash of civilization" in the midst of Istanbul:

Woman: I want to ask you something. Do you want me to dress like you?
Reporter: In my opinion, it is much more fitting to dress like this.  
Women: Then how am I going to dress? In a black niqab?
Reporter: You should dress like her holiness Aisha [one of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives].
Woman: How did she dress?
Reporter: Don’t you know?
Woman: She wore a niqab, we know that.
Reporter: Of course she did.
Woman: [to the cameraman] and you, why are you wearing a fez? Is the Ottoman Empire continuing?
Reporter: Of course it is, we are living in the Ottoman Empire.
Woman: Come along.
Reporter: We are Ottoman, aren’t you?
Woman: The Ottoman Empire is over, the Turkish Republic was founded.
Reporter: Maybe, but our grandparents are Ottoman.
Woman: Just say so then. You are right on that. But times have changed. Your hair, your fez. It’s over.
Reporter: No it’s not. Look, we are still alive. We are continuing it.
Woman: And you even came here.
Reporter: We can go anywhere we want.
Woman: Don’t come here ever again.
Reporter: No, we can go anywhere.




June/04/2014

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