Greek media unable to swallow down the fact, manipulates the events in Dolaphan

Western Thrace
Sun, 14 Apr 2024 21:21 GMT
Dolaphan, where Mehmet Ahmetçik served as an imam for over 40 years, sparked discussions about who would take over the role of imam following his passing.
Greek media unable to swallow down the fact, manipulates the events in Dolaphan

The Turkish community of Western Thrace, who consider religious matters as fundamental values, approaches with sensitivity the selection of individuals in religious positions, including the imam.

Traditionally, in Islamic fıqh (jurisprudence), one of the primary conditions for the selection of an imam is the preference of the congregation. Indeed, the congregation is aware that the imam should be selected based on criteria such as knowledge, religious education, justice, ethics, and the ability to meet social needs.

Although it is acknowledged in Islamic societies that there may be individuals, known as (munafiq) hypocrites in Islamic literature, among those who regularly attend the mosque and do not represent the entire congregation, it is believed that the congregation's collective decision will lead to the right choice in selecting the imam.

A similar process took place in the mountainous region of Dolaphan, located in Xanthi. Following Mehmet Ahmetçik's illness, two different officials temporarily assumed the role of imam. However, it is known that leading the Friday prayers is a more challenging task than the other daily prayers. In such an atmosphere, Mufti of Xanthi, Mustafa Trampa, took the responsibility to assist in leading the Friday prayers to prevent potential chaos.

However, following the passing of the veteran imam Mehmet Ahmetçik, Xanthi Mufti reminded the congregation that, in accordance with Islamic principles, they should select their imam based on their own will, ensuring necessary facilitation and cooperation in this process.

It is worth noting that the current İskeçe Mufti, Mustafa Trampa, was elected in line with both Islamic principles and the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne, which recognize the religious rights granted to the Greek Orthodox Minority in Istanbul as applicable to the other party as well. He attended the Friday prayers in Dolaphan in accordance with the expectations of the congregation.

However, despite the conciliatory messages of Mufti Trampa being well received by the congregation, an unexpected incident occurred when a state official, identified as a graduate of the Special Pedagogy Academy of Thessaloniki (SPATh), claimed that the imam had already been selected in Dolaphan and insisted that Mufti Trampa had no authority outside his own village. In response, Mufti Trampa calmly reminded them that he is the mufti of the entire Xanthi province, maintaining his composed demeanor. Although the individual resorted to derogatory remarks, the intervention of the District Police Chief prevented the situation from escalating.

Failing to garner support, the provocateur who attempted to prevent Mufti Mustafa Trampa from leading the Friday prayers was forced to leave due to the backlash from the local residents and officials.

Local media couldn't swallow down the events

following the incidents, the Greek media, referring to the news site based in Alexandroupoli, presented the events in a completely opposite manner. Headlines such as "Tension in the mosque as fake mufti provokes," "Fake mufti expelled from the mosque," "Police rescue fake mufti, Zeybek (MP) and his gang which was expelled from the mosque by the congregation," and "Mufti kicked out of the mosque" were highlighted.

As the minority community would appreciate, it is not expected for anyone, even if disliked, to initiate such an attack, especially in a religious venue like a mosque.

However, such exceptional incidents do not reflect the entire congregation. Nevertheless, the local press generalized the reaction of a few individuals to the entire congregation, depicting it as the congregation's heroism. Such accusations are considered disrespectful to the minority community. In response, the congregation felt the need to counter all the insults directed at them by the individual.

Meanwhile, the local Greek media, by attributing the provocations initiated by one person and supported by a few others to the entire congregation, reported the events in an unacceptable manner throughout.

From Falsehoods to Fearmongering

The intervention of the police to calm the situation was portrayed as "police saved the fake mufti from a beating." Subsequently, the news site, in its report, could not swallow down the post shared by Hüseyin Baltacı, President of the Association of Higher Education Graduates, who, despite the tension, resumed Mufti Trampa's composed attitude. Quoting Baltacı's post "Beautiful moments of unity and peace from the Dolaphan Mosque," they added a note, "Doctor, thank the Xanthi Police for protecting you," as a veiled threat.

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