Turkish authorities launched an investigation on Thursday after unidentified people hacked the call-to-prayer system in Izmir to broadcast the Italian song of revolt "Bella Ciao" from the minarets of several mosques in the city. The anti-fascist anthem was broadcast by several mosques on Wednesday afternoon, at the time of the raid, the call to prayer launched five times a day. The footage was widely shared on social media.
Bella Ciao coming out from a mosque in #Izmir
The local division of Diyanet, the Turkish Authority for Religious Affairs, confirmed the incident in a statement posted Wednesday evening on its Twitter account and announced that it had opened an internal investigation and lodged a complaint with the police. "Bella Ciao" was released after "unidentified people sabotaged and illegally hacked the call to prayer system," said Diyanet.
The Izmir prosecutor's office opened an investigation into this incident and also against users of social networks suspected of “denigrating religious values” for having applauded it, according to the state agency Anadolu.
Izmir, stronghold of the opposition to Erdogan
Izmir, the country's third largest city, is a secular stronghold and stronghold of the CHP, the main opposition party founded by the father of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Omer Celik, spokesperson for AKP, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamo-conservative party, "strongly condemned" the hack, saying on Twitter that "the perpetrators of this repugnant act will be found".
The pro-government media also condemned the hacking, calling it a "scandal" and "a vile attack on mosques". The incident occurred in the middle of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, and while the mosques have been closed for two months to fight against the spread of the coronavirus in Turkey.