(Sabah Newspaper, 20 April 2013)
Romeo imam and his mosque.
The bewildering incident occurred in Karahayit
village of Dalama town in Aydin province on friday
Imam M.O., who was assigned temporarily to the
village about 4 months ago, convinced a married
woman from Aydin city, whom he met on Facebook,
to run away with him. The two lovers made their
escape on 9 April, hiding in the mosque where the
The woman's husband tracked her down and he came
to the village mosque last friday during prayer time.
The husband started to shout "where's the iman who
kidnapped my wife?!" The congregation was in shock
as the husband walked toward the imam reading the
sermon of the day and shouted "this no-good kidnapped
my wife and left my two children motherless. None of
you can listen to him. The prayers he says are worthless."
Since imam M.O. was on leave that day another imam,
Mustafa Sahin, was presiding so he and the congregation,
after overcoming their initial shock, tried to calm the
irate husband by explaining the situation. Learning that
M.O. and his wife were elsewhere, the angry husband
got into his car and left.
M.O. has been missing since the day of the incident. But
when the congregation learned that he had hidden the
woman in the mosque they rose up in anger. Village
chief Mehmet Erdem said that the village was now
shunning the mosque. He added that he has applied to
the authorities to have M.O. removed from duty.
Because of the scandal, the provincial religious directorate
has started an investigation, at the behest of the Aydin
What happens in Dalama...