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AFP
May 22, 2020

Turkey fury after mosques play WWII anti-facist song

World

AFP
May 22, 2020

ANKARA: A Turkish prosecutor on Thursday launched a probe after the public address systems of some mosques were allegedly hijacked and blared out a World War II-era Italian anti-fascist anthem.

The government and religious officials reacted angrily to the breaking of a religious taboo -- mosques are supposed to only broadcast calls to prayer or other significant religious messages -- accusing unnamed individuals of "sabotage".

While the national religious body Diyanet filed a legal complaint and launched an internal inquiry, the Izmir prosecutor's office said it would investigate the original incident as well as social media users who posted about it.

The song, called Bella Ciao, has been adopted by leftists around the world but it has no particular association with religion and it was unclear why anyone would seek to broadcast it from mosques.

Izmir is one of Turkey´s secular bastions, where the main opposition Republican People´s Party (CHP) dominates local politics.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its allies roundly criticised the stunt. "Whoever committed this ugly act will surely be found," tweeted AKP spokesman Omer Celik.