Turkish Police Hunt Musical Minaret Hackers

In last two days, unknown persons in Turkey have hacked mosques' digital audio systems in the coastal city of Izmir and played the anti-fascist song Ciao Bella and other songs with revolutionary messages.

After videos of the stunt were widely shared, Izmir police announced that they had started an investigation on Thursday and detained several people for insulting religion.

The detainees included Banu Ozdemir a former city official of main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP.

The Turkish Religious Authority, the Diyanet, announced that it had filed a criminal complaint about the hacking.

"These people are unknown and evil-minded. They insulted our sacred religious values in the holy month of Ramadan. We have filed a criminal complaint at the city prosecutor's office," the chief cleric in Izmir, Mufti Sukru Balkan, said on Thursday.

The Diyanet had to suspend all calls to prayers, known as adhans, in Izmir because of the attacks until further notice.

The digital attacks and the playing of songs from minarets angered local politicians.

"We condemn these attacks on our mosques. Whoever has a problem with mosques also has problems with the nation," Omer Celik, the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party, said on Thursday.

Tunc Soyer, the Mayor of Izmir, from the CHP, also called the incidents provocative. "The incidents made me and the people of Izmir very sad. This is a provocative and villainous act to set us against each other. We should not fall into this trap," Soyer told the media.

Several Turkish media outlets said the attacks were likely organised by a Marxist hacker group known as Redhack.

Redhack previously hacked several Turkish government websites,...

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