Mufti's Office of Xanthi continues its loyalty visits

Western Thrace
Mon, 22 Jan 2024 10:47 GMT
Mufti of Xanthi Trampa and the accompanying delegation visited the retired Koyunköy Imam Hasan Idris.
Mufti's Office of Xanthi continues its loyalty visits

Within the framework of the project of loyalty to the great plane trees, on Wednesday 17 January 2024, Mufti of Xanthi Mustafa Trampa and the accompanying delegation visited the retired Koyunköy Imam Hasan Idris.

In the statement made by the Mufti's Office of Xanthi regarding the visit, the following statements were made

"Hasan Hodja was born in 1945 in Otmanören of Koyunköy Nahiye, one of our villages, which is now a metropolis. He studied primary school in the village where he was born, then graduated from Sahin Madrasah. He worked in construction for years. He worked in a brick quarry in Athens. Upon the need, he was appointed as imam of Koyunköy in 1977 by the Mufti's Office of Xanthi. Until 2012, he continued his duty as both imam and Qur'an Course instructor in this village and as of this year he retired.

Hodja Hasan is known for his sensitive nature and his hard struggle for the cause of the Muslim Turkish Minority of Western Thrace. Especially during the renovation works of the Koyunköy mosque which started in 1996, he was confronted with the security forces many times and was even referred to the court and sentenced to eight months imprisonment. When describing these incidents, he said, "Investigations and imprisonment are an honour for me, these are our values that we should worry about and fight for. The other one worries in the way of Satan, I run in the way of Allah".

Incidentally, it would be useful to mention here the history of the internationally famous Koyunköy mosque. This will also show the extent of freedom of religion and conscience in Western Thrace.

The first mosque of Koyunköy was in the form of a masjid and could not meet the needs of the village people. It is rumoured to be 200 years old as the construction date. In addition to the existing masjid, there were two more masjids in the village at that time. However, these masjids were closed in time.

Built with 21st century facilities, Koyunkoy Mosque is located northwest of the village entrance. Built in a large and green courtyard, the mosque adds a different beauty with its structure and minaret to everyone who uses the main road between Xanthi and Koyunkoy.

Over time, the existing mosque has become unable to meet the worship needs of the rapidly migrating and ever-growing village.

In 1986 the mosque was extended for the first time. The first expansion was over 140 m2. In 1996, the mosque was expanded to 500 m2 and was opened for worship in its present form.

Koyunköy Mosque; the expansion works, which had been started with the permission granted on 11 September 1996, before the general elections on 22 September 1996, were stopped by the police on 23 December 1996. On the grounds that the permit had been violated, 17 people were arrested.

On 24 December 1996, the arrests continued. Six more people were arrested, including Hüseyin Bandak, the District Director at the time, and Hasan Idris, the village Imam. During the arrest, Hüseyin Bandak was beaten and Recep Topuz was beaten by the police and hospitalised. On Friday 27 December 1996, the police did not allow the people of the village to perform Friday prayers in the mosque. Three busloads of police prevented the people from performing Friday prayers. On the same day, the people of the village did not perform the Friday prayer as a protest.

On 3 January 1997, 23 Koyunköy residents were brought to trial. Imam Hasan Idris was sentenced to a total of eight months imprisonment in two trials held at the Single Judge Criminal Court of Xanthi. 18 people were sentenced to 35 days imprisonment each and 4 people were acquitted.

Under such circumstances, the police continued to resist. The mosque was kept under constant control. The police, who stood guard around the mosque day and night, prevented the people of the village from approaching the mosque. The people of Köyünköy, whose religious freedom was restricted in the face of this forbidden situation, started to use the workplace of the District Director Hüseyin Bandak as a mosque to fulfil their worship.

On 25 September 1997, construction work on the mosque was resumed. But on 14 November 1997, the height of the minaret became a problem. This time the construction of the minaret was stopped. The first permit for the minaret foresees a height of 18 metres, but when it was reduced to 12 metres with the amendment made by the then Governor of Xanthi Salturos, the problem arose and the construction was stopped.

Koyunköy Mosque was repaired for the first time in 1986. The second repair started in October 1996 and ended in 2002. The foundation of the minaret was laid in 1996 October and completed by the village people on 13 - 07 - 2002.

With this loyalty visit of our Mufti and the accompanying delegation, Hasan Hodja was uplifted and could not hold back his tears of joy. He expressed his satisfaction and thanked the guests for this visit.

This meaningful visit was completed with a very pleasant conversation in a friendly atmosphere with coffee. At the end of the visit, Mufti Efendi presented our teacher with the two-volume book "THE MOSQUES AND MOSQUITS OF ISCEE" published by our Muftiate and thanked him for his hospitality."

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