Battle of Karbala marked by Caferis in Turkey
DHA PhotoShiite Muslims in Turkey commemorated on Oct. 23 the Battle of Karbala, a bloody clash that took place more than 1,000 years ago in Karbala, located in present-day Iraq.
Commemoration ceremonies were held in Istanbul’s Halkalı district, the northeastern provinces of Kars and Iğdır, the northwestern province of Kocaeli and the Turgutlu district of Aegean Manisa province with the participation of Caferis, a Shiite sect in Turkey, and Alevis.
In Istanbul, a group of people marched to the commemoration area for the battle early in the day. Speeches commemorating the Battle of Karbala, which took place some 13 centuries ago, were held during the ceremonies organized mainly by the Caferi association, Caferider.
The leader of Turkey’s Caferi community, Selahattin Özgündüz, called for the unity of all segments of society in Turkey and claimed he would himself defy any attempted treasonous individuals among Caferis in Turkey.
Thousands of people, many of whom were dressed in black to indicate their mourning, also gathered in the eastern province of Iğdır for Karbala ceremonies.
The battle of Karbala, where Hussayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and his relatives and supporters were killed in 682 (year 61 of the Islamic calendar) by the forces of Yazid, son of the Umayyad caliphate, is commemorated every year by Caferis as well as Sunni Muslims.
Some Caferis performed the Battle of Karbala in a passion play, to remember the pain experienced centuries ago. At the end of this year’s commemorations, worshipers who had in the past self-flagellated with chains to feel the suffering of Hussayn’s horrific death instead donated blood to the Turkish Red Crescent.