Hundreds of supporters of ISIL allegedly performs Eid prayer in 'Islamist' Turkey's Istanbul, calls for war. (TZ).
The Turkish media reported on Sunday that a group of ISIL militants -- allegedly consisting of 1,000 ISIL members -- gathered at a picnic site in İstanbul's Ömerli neighborhood to perform the prayers signaling the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the beginning of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
According to the news agency Sputnik Türkiye, the prayer was led by Halis Bayancuk, also known as Abu Hanzala, who is alleged to be one of ISIL's most high-ranking members in Turkey. He allegedly called on the supporters after the prayer to engage in war.As part of his 14-minute speech, Bayancuk, who is said to be in charge of the al-Qaeda network in Turkey, criticized democracy and called for the formation of a state governed by religious law.
Also criticizing the Turkish government, Bayancuk said the Gülen movement, inspired by the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, was being unfair towards members of ISIL and al-Qaeda and was instigating arbitrary detainments through its alleged contacts in law enforcement and judicial circles.
ISIL forbids its followers to join prayers in mosques located in countries not under the group's control. A similar gathering was also held last year. The İstanbul Governor's Office made an announcement stating that the group had not obtained the necessary permission to perform their prayer on public property, after images of the prayer caused a public outcry.
ISIL is also known as a Salafi extremist militant group and self-proclaimed caliphate and Islamic state led by Sunni Arabs from Iraq and Syria. Read the full story here.