World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Cultural Ministry and Travel Agents Union (TURSAB) has sent around 120 Alevi and Bektashi elders on a religious pilgrimage. After visiting the shrines of the Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) companion and son-in-law Ali in Iraq's Najaf, the group then visited the shrine of Ali's son Hussain in Kerbala before heading to Mecca to perform Umrah.
The group arrived at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport in the early hours of this morning, expressing their gratitude to TURSAB for organizing the trip along with messages of peace and unity.
Alevi leader Celal Ozer said 'As an Alevi religious leader, I would like to extend my thanks on behald of all the elders. I have always wanted to visit the holy sites since I was little. I thank the state of Turkey, TURSAB and our Cultural Ministry for this.'
TURSAB chairman Basaran Ulusoy also praised the program, saying that another one has already been planned for May.
Alevis and Bektashis belong to a mystical sect of Shiite Islam and have many followers in Turkey. Not to be confused with the Alawites of Syria, Alevism is named after the companion Ali, who Shiites refer to as being the 'first imam'. Bektashism is named after the 13th century mystic scholar Haji Bektash Veli.Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2014, 16:49