Thousands of Shiite Muslims gathered together to commemorate the battle of Karbala in Istanbul’s Halkalı district Nov. 13 on the mourning day of Ashura.
“Mosques are ours, cemevis are too. Ramadan is ours, Muharrem is too. We cannot disturb anyone for their faith or ethnic background. Our Allah is the same, holy book is the same, the Prophet is the same,” said main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during the ceremonies.
Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek said Sunnis and Shiites were killing each other in the Muslim world. “Sunnis, Shiites are killing each other today. The bloodshed continues in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, wherever Muslims are living. Both the ones killing and the ones being killed are saying, ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is Great]. What kind of an Islamic understanding is this?” said Çiçek, calling for peace and unity among Muslims.
“If we come together, we become stronger and vital. We must be aware of the games that some are attempting to create conflict among us. We must never allow the Alevi-Sunni conflict to come between us,” said Çiçek.
The battle of Karbala, where Ali’s son Hussein and his relatives and supporters were killed on the 10th day of Muharrem in 682 (year 61 in the Islamic calendar) by the forces of Yezid, son of the Umayyad caliphate, is commemorated every year by the participation of many Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
Turkish Shiite leader Selahattin Özgündüz said they proposed a law to declare Ashura to be a public holiday. ---Thousands of Shiite Muslims gathered together to commemorate the battle of Karbala in Istanbul’s Halkalı--- ...