30 Mayıs 2011 Pazartesi

Motorcycle-mad Imam Gives up the Mosque

imam links to original article

(Posta Newspaper, 27 May 2011)

Tarık Balkı, known as the 'one wheel imam' because of his love of motor-
cycles, was assigned to Kapıkargın village in Dalaman district of Muğla
province. Due to pressure from the villagers and his religious boss he has

Four months ago Balkı was assigned to Kapıkargın village in Dalaman
after having served for three years in the Gölköy mosque in the town of
Göltürkbükü in Bodrum. He drew the attention of the community by
going back and forth to the mosque with his motorcycle. The villagers
were uncomfortable with Balkı's bluejeans, motorcycle garb and a helmet
with a scorpion on it. 'A crazy, bluejean-wearing motorcycle rider cannot
be an imam. We won't say prayers under him.', said the villagers. They
complained to the imam's boss, the district political leader, the Gendarmerie
and the police.

Balkı said that the village youths twice threatened him to leave and to stop
practicing as an imam. Additionally, his boss, Dalaman Müftü Selahattin
Bozkurt, summoned him frequently to talk about the complaints and warned
him not to go to the mosque on his motorcycle. The police and the
Gendarmerie warned him, as well, about the threats but Balkı wouldn't give
up his love of motorcycles. Last week he submitted his resignation to the
Dalaman Müftü's office and returned to Bodrum to live with his family.

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