RAMADAN: The Yeni Mosque in Thessaloniki opened for the first time in over 100 years – See videos and photos


A large number of Muslims arrived at the site early on Wednesday morning. The first prayer started at 7:30 and ended after half an hour.

After 102 years, the Yeni Mosque in Thessaloniki, which is used as an exhibition space for the Municipal Art Gallery, was opened to break the Ramadan fast.

On early Wednesday morning, many Muslims arrived at the site to pray while police measures were increased, with officers at the entrance carrying out checks where necessary.

Following the decision of the General Secretariat of Religions, the first prayer began at 7:30 AM by Egypt-born Imam Taha Abdelgalil, a Greek citizen and member of the religious committee of the Islamic Mosques of Athens.

The prayer, performed in Arabic, ended after half an hour and was followed by a sermon in Arabic and Greek.

See the Imam's statements after the end of the prayer:

A woman from Indonesia who studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki prayed at the Yeni Mosque and expressed her joy.

"It's really nice. It's the first time it's open for us, and I'm so happy because I can find my Muslim family and celebrate Ramadan," she said.

See photos:

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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.

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

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

Yeni Mosque in Thessaloniki

READ MORE: Repatriation of Greek Antiquities from Atlanta: A Triumph for Cultural Heritage.

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