Politics And Religion: An Interesting Mix

As I wrote a few five weeks earlier, Mugdat Mosque, Mersin’s largest, is adding its fifth and sixth minarets. Today, whilst walking along the coast I noticed the mosque had a Turkish flag at the top of an unfinished minaret. I have never seen a country’s flag (or any flag) on a minaret before.

7 thoughts on “Politics And Religion: An Interesting Mix

  1. The flag is an old construction worker tradition, nothing religious. Immediately after a building is completed, they put a flag on top and don’t remove it until the property owner pays a fee 🙂

  2. Thank you Efe for your informative post. I did not know about the construction tradition.

    Yes, the flag is not religious – the mosque is though. The flag is the political part.

  3. But the Turkish flag clearly bears a religious symbol. Does anyone in the country acknowledge that? When I was in Turkey, I was told a story about the flag’s secular origins from a battle (something about the crescent moon’s reflection in a pool of blood). Seemed like a secularist post facto justification to me.

  4. Jeff, you are right about the crescent and star. These are religious. This is borne out in the number of Muslim country flags that share one or both of the features: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

    In Turkey, however, I have never seen the flag representing religion.

  5. The crescent is a symbol that dates back to ancient Persia. As that empire was consumed by later empires, including the Ottoman empire, the symbol was passed along.

    Attaturk effectively instituted a kind of separation of church and state in Turkey, bringing that country into the modern era. The flag is not representative of religion, but does not deny religion either. The flag atop the minaret is nothing more than the already-stated tradition. The minaret has not been blessed and will not hold religious value until it is.

    -Matta

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