Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends Ashura commemorations for the first time - 16Dec2010 - english

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turkey   Turkish   Shia   commemorate   death   Imam   Hussein   day   Ashura   Istanbul   karbala   shia   Prime   Minister   Tayyip   Erdogan   2011   2010   1432  

Thousands of Turkish Shia braved freezing temperatures to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein on the day of Ashura. They walked through Istanbul streets beating their chests as is the religious ritual to feel the suffering of Imam Hussein at Karbala. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the commemorations this year, a first since his party came to power in 2002. Erdogan's message was one of unity between Shia and Sunni Muslims, he himself a follower of the Sunni hanife faith. People here told us that although they were in mourning, the Prime Minister's message was one of hope. The former Iranian Foreign Minister echoing this message by calling on Muslims to stand stead fast in the face of those who want to spread havoc in the Islamic world. This perhaps a reference to the latest attack in Iran. An attack the Turkish prime minister strongly condemned. Every year, Turkish Shia reenact the battle of Kerbala as is their tradition, however blood letting is forbidden here. Turkish Shia perform their religious duty by donating blood to the Turkish red crescent. Ashura is an important day on the Shia calendar, and this year it was also acknowledged by Turkey's Sunni leadership.

Added by Zawwar on 17-12-2010
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