PERMISSION REQUEST FOR SALAT AL EIDAIN TO THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY


27/11/2016





Muslims in Greece are still experiencing difficulties to find a mosque. Authorities of Culture and Education of Macedonia-Thrace’s Muslims Association operating in Thessaloniki filed a formal application regarding allocation of a mosque for Salat Al Eidain due to the forthcoming eid al-fitr, Ramadan festival.Muslims living in the Thessaloniki filed a formal application for allocation of New Mosque (Yeni Tzami in Greek). Allocation of this mosque is crucial since Turkish tourists who will rush into Thessaloniki during nine-day-long Ramadan festive, need a place to pray in addition to the Muslim residents.WAIT FOR THE DECISION OF MAYOR BUTARIS Last year Thessaloniki Municipality rejected a formal application to allocate a mosque. As a result, Muslims and Culture and Education of Macedonia-Thrace’s Muslims Association had to pray Salat Al Eidain in Osmaniye prayer room which is formed through their own means. Today, all the attention focused on the Mayor Butaris administration and the decision is awaited.HOW WAS THE SITUATION IN PREVIOUS YEARS?Western Thracian Turks living in Thessaloniki wanted Alaca Imaret Mosque to be allocated for Salat al Eidan in 2012. However Thessaloniki Municipality rejected this request on the grounds that Alaca Imaret Mosque is not an actual mosque but an orphanage and filed an application in Education and Religious Affairs Ministry in order to open New Mosque to worship once a year. Nevertheless, Education and Religious Affairs Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry did not give a response to the application of Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yannis Butaris. Thessaloniki Municipality allocated New Mosque instead of Alaca Imaret Mosque for Salat al Eidan in 2013. However, Culture and Education of Macedonia-Thrace’s Muslims Association only learned the allocation of New Mosque in the eve of the festive and protested the decision of Religious Affairs General Secretariat with regard to appointment of an imam from Xanthi instead of imams serving in the Association’s praying rooms and mosques. Özcan Ali Osman

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