First ‘Friday prayers’ in Istanbul's Taksim after clashes

First ‘Friday prayers’ in Istanbul's Taksim after clashes

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
First ‘Friday prayers’ in Istanbuls Taksim after clashes

Scholar İhsan Eliaçık (C) is a leading figure of the Anti-Capitalist Muslims. DHA photo

A group calling themselves “Anti-capitalist Muslims” performed their first prayers all together while other protesters “stood guard” against any kind of provocation in Istanbul’s occupied Taksim Square on the 11th day of unrest in the country.

On June 5, a Quran reading took place at the square on Miraç celebration day. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also performed his prayers at a mosque located in Istanbul’s Asian side, Üsküdar Hz. Ali Mosque, away from protesters in the city center while the occupied Gezi Park witnessed “leftists” protection for the ones performing prayers. Erdoğan’s return from a three-day-long North Africa trip had given rise to thoughts suggesting that Friday prayers, which have a symbolic importance for Muslims, might turn into protests on the 11th day of the protests.

The Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque, which was used by some protesters as a makeshift hospital following attacks by police early in the hours of June 3, was silent. The mosque’s imam called on the community for fraternity in his preaching. The mosque is located only a hundred meters away from the prime minister’s office in Beşiktaş’s Dolmabahçe district.