Turkey marks Ashura Day with events
Being observed on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, Ashura Day is celebrated in Turkey with consecutive events.
While some Muslims celebrate Ashura as the revered day when the Prophet Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Cudi, located in the southeast of modern-day Turkey, others commemorate the day as the death anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, in Iraq’s Karbala.
Turkey’s top religious official, Ali Erbaş, has expressed his desire for brotherhood and unity among Muslims in a message he released on the occasion of the day.
Erbaş noted that Karbala, in the awareness of unity and brotherhood, which is Hussein’s ideal, instructs Muslims to stick together more and to always be on the lookout for evil centers working to incite strife and mischief.
Turkey’s Caferi community of Shiite Muslims held a parade and commemoration event in the eastern province of Kars, where the community has a big presence, to mark the suffering of Hussein 1,382 years ago.
A large crowd dressed in black and wearing headbands gathered at the Hazreti Ali Çarşı Mosque for speeches by community leaders and marched on the streets amid mourning chants as they beat their chests and flogged themselves with chains.
Some burst out crying, while other mourners carried symbolic coffins. Women wearing black dresses also joined the march with Zulfiqar swords in their hands.
In different provinces of the country, the day was commemorated at iftar dinners organized with the participation of city officials and leading religious figures.
Known as the Second Fitnah in Islamic history, the killing of Hussein was caused by a political dispute, where the army of the ruler of Umayyad, Yazid I, put them under pressure to pay allegiance to the caliph of the time.
Despite diplomatic efforts, Hussein and his resistance forces were murdered on the 10th day of Muharram.
This event leads to a separation into two branches in the Muslim faith: Shiites and Sunnis.
Elsewhere in the country, some believers mark the day to commemorate Noah’s survival from the flood by making ashura and sharing it with family, neighbors and friends.
According to Islamic beliefs, Noah asked his family to bring all the remaining food on the ark and prepare a sweet soup/pudding by mixing them all together.
Following hundreds of years old tradition based on this incident, some Muslims share the dessert that is made of a mixture consisting of grains, fruit and nuts on Ashura Day among family and friends.
Meanwhile, the day was also commemorated with similar events in several countries, especially Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.