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It is only a short while ago, we learnt that a
brother died in a shooting incident in a Masonic Temple building. We have just
now received news that in a bomb explosion in a Masonic Lodge building in
Kartal District in Istanbul,
two persons were killed and 5 were injured.
Associated Press in breaking News has informed that a man entered the building
and detonated the bomb.
Some months ago, two synagogues, the British
Consulate and a British Bank in Istanbul were attacked by suicide bombers
killing about 62 persons. CNN-Turk has reported that a man chanting “Allah,
Allah” entered the building and detonated the explosive device.
NTV has quoted the police authorities that the
attack was by a suicide bomber. Some of the authorities, while confirming that
the blast was due to the explosion of
a bomb are not sure that the blast was triggered
by a suicide bomber.
Another report mentions that two persons entered
the building, opened fire
with automatic weapons and then exploded the
bomb, killing a person and
wounding others, while one of the assailants
died in the explosion,
the other was injured.
Muammer Guler has reported that the assailants at
first shot the guard of the restaurant of the Lodge and then indiscriminately
opened fire and then detonated bombs. Abdullah Islam, the second assailant had
his arm ripped off when the explosive strapped to his body exploded. There were
about 40 persons in the restaurant at the time of the attack.
Turkey has predominantly a
Muslim population. The country is a secular country and was probably the first
Islamic country in the world to emancipate women and give them equal rights and
prove to the world that a predominantly Islam country can be secular and
progressive. Unfortunately, fundamentalism has recently raised its ugly hand of
destruction in that country.
Freemasonry is a strong institution in Turkey.
There is evidence that a Lodge was functioning in Galata Tower area probably
from 1721 and during the reign of Osman III. Sait Celebi, a then ambassador to
France, who later became the Prime Minister, was the first citizen of Turkey to
become a Freemason. The Grand Lodge of Turkey was formed on July 13 th 1909 and
Mehmet Telat S. Pasha was the first Grand Master. That Grand Lodge grew from
strength to strength and at several stages of the Turkish History, Freemasons
had wielded considerable power. A detailed article on the History of Freemasonry
in Turkey will be posted shortly. Suffice it at this stage to note that
Freemasonry had a major role in bringing about at first a constitutional
monarchy and later a democratically elected
Government in Turkey.
It is painful that a Fraternity functioning under
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of men should have been bombed
invoking the name of
“Allah”, the all merciful. Places of worship are
being bombed in several parts of the world and innocent people are being
massacred by fanatics. Besides, dropping tears of sympathy for the victims,
Freemasons have to do their best to enlighten the misguided Fundamentalists,
that “Allah”, the all merciful will never pardon
or spare the people, who kill His creations and
that His Children have a right to live peacefully, until summoned by Him.
We are conveying our heartfelt sorrow, sympathy
and condolences to the families of the deceased and injured and are praying to
“Allah”, the all merciful to protect the innocent people from the terrorists and