Izmir changes mosque system after Bela Chao minarets


PHOTO: Reuters

Mosques in Izmir County / Western Turkey / have stopped using a centralized prayer call system after the system was hacked and the Italian anti-fascist song “Bela Chao” sounded from the minarets of mosques in the district, DPA reported.

The Italian partisan song “Bela Chao” from the time of the Second World War was heard for about ten seconds from 30 mosques in the district this week, the mufti of Izmir district Recep Shukryu Balkan told DPA, BTA reports.

As a precautionary measure, we have suspended the use of the centralized call-to-prayer system, Balkan said.

Each mosque will broadcast its own call to prayer directly as we increase the security of the system, the mufti said.

Balkan said most imams quickly cut off the song on Wednesday.

The Izmir prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the incident, as well as against social media users suspected of “discrediting religious values” for welcoming the execution, the Anadolu Agency reported earlier.

We are deeply saddened by this provocative act at such a delicate moment, said Balkan on the occasion of the incident that took place during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims and days before Eid al-Fitr.

It is really difficult for us to understand the motive, the psychology of the perpetrators. Why would anyone do that? Said Balkan, who has been Izmir’s mufti for two years.

My personal opinion is that this is an organized attack by some people who have specifically targeted Izmir – a center of religious harmony and tolerance, said the mufti.

One man was detained yesterday on charges of “public damage to religious values”, while another was detained and subsequently released, the Anatolian Agency reported.

What we want is for this tragic case to be resolved soon, so that it remains behind us, Balkan noted.

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