Thessaloniki's Yeni Mosque will open for Eid prayers for the first time in over 100 years

Yeni Mosque, Thessaloniki

Greek authorities announced that the Yeni Mosque in Greece's second city, Thessaloniki, will be open for Islamic prayers for the first time in more than 100 years on April 10, during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan.

Built by Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli in 1902, the Ottoman mosque was built for Thessaloniki's crypto-Jewish converts to Islam, the Dönmeh. After the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, all Muslims living in Greece, except those in Western Thrace, were “exchanged” for Christians, overwhelmingly Greeks, from Turkey.

Yeni Mosque in Thessaloniki
Yeni Mosque in Thessaloniki

In 1924, many of these Christians from Turkey lived inside the Yeni Mosque, which eventually became the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki after the refugees were settled.

Today, it is an exhibition centre which hosts various cultural activities.

At the same time, Greek authorities also decided to open for Eid al-Fitr the Suleymaniye Mosque in Rhodes, which the Ottomans built atop a church immediately after their conquest of the island in 1522.

Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque in Rhodes

It was named after Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent to commemorate his conquest of Rhodes. The mosque was reconstructed in 1808 and has been restored several times since.

READ MORE: Sandirvan Mosque, a beacon of Ottoman culture in Drama city.

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