More than 40,000 people who gathered in Sular Vadisi park of İstanbul’s Başakşehir district on Saturday to break their fast together prayed for the end of conflicts in Egypt, Syria and Palestine.

The iftar dinner, held by Başakşehir Mayor Mevlüt Uysal, brought together Somali students studying in Turkey and Başakşehir residents as well as high-level state officials like Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Mustafa Şentop and AK Party Tokat deputy Zeyid Aslan.

Bozdağ greeted those gathered at the iftar before the dinner began and said that the Islamic world did not enjoy the atmosphere of peace that Turkey does. “In many places in the Islamic world, torture is inflicted and blood is shed. Here before you, I condemn those who ordered the killing in Egypt,” he said. Bozdağ criticized the United Nations for failing to take action on the conflict in Egypt and called the body a “casualty counter.”

Egyptian security forces shot dead dozens of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Saturday, witnesses said, days after Egypt’s army chief called for a popular mandate to wipe out “violence and terrorism.”

Speaking at the iftar, Uysal said he was happy to host international guests and added that the Ramadan spirit energizes iftar tables.

Somali students from different regions of their home country presented government officials and Mayor Uysal traditional gifts. At the iftar’s close, theologian Ömer Döngeloğlu prayed together with the Somali students.

By Ramadan’s end, the Başakşehir Municipality will have held a total of 20 iftars in 13 neighborhoods. Such events bring strangers together and help build bridges of friendship.

source: todayszaman