Anti-New Year’s march held in Sivas
Hundreds of people marched in the central Turkish city of Sivas against New Year celebrations.
“Our aim in this march was to prevent both our people and our Sivas compatriots from celebrating New Year and to make them stop celebrating,” secularist newspaper Sözcü quoted Bülent Şimşek, the head of a local youth association as saying.
“At the same time, we want to make this night more blessed by celebrating the conquest of Mecca.”
Mecca, which is the most sacred city for the Muslim faith, fell to forces commanded by the Prophet Muhammed on Jan. 11, 630.
Authorities closed several roads for the 300 marchers accompanied by an Ottoman-style military band. Islamists in overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey have for years railed against popular celebrations of the New Year, which they see as a Christian tradition.