Hundreds gather to mark Ashura in Istanbul

Hundreds of people have gathered in Istanbul to mark the sacred day of Ashura, which as well as being sigificant for being the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein tragic death, is also the day Moses was saved from the Pharoah.

Hundreds gather to mark Ashura in Istanbul

World Bulletin / News Desk

An international mourning ritual of Ashura was held on Wednesday in Istanbul to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, 1374 years ago. 

Imam Hussein was killed along with 72 followers at Karbala, Iraq by the army of Caliph Yazid in 680 AD on the day of Ashura.

A commemoration ritual held at Arena Mega Convention Center in Istanbul's Halkali district with the attendance of hundreds of people, including high officials such as Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and CHP Deputy Chairman Gursel Tekin.

"Muharram [the first month of the Islamic calendar] is a month of peace and abundance, but also of mourning. Unfortunately, the Muslim world is far from this understanding," Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek said, "This painful event [Karbala] which occurred 14 centuries ago has caused separation in the world. We should never allow divison between Alevis and Sunnis."

"What Karbala teaches us is to stand against tyrants and strive against them," Ayatullah Raisi, an Iranian religious representative, said during his speech. 

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also stressed the importance of togetherness by saying, "Karbala is bitter, it wounds people's feeling. It is a joint sorrow. We are 76 millions, we are one and together."

There were also hundreds of black-clad mourners outside the convention center, marching through streets and chanting "We are with you, Hussein!" Some of the observers hit themselves on the chest and back and used chains as part of the Shiite flagellation ritual of identifying with Imam Hussein's pain.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Kasım 2013, 15:55